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AFTER DEATH -WHAT? 



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AFTER DEATH— WHAT? 



SPIRITISTIC PHENOMENA AND 
THEIR INTERPRETATION 



BY 



CESARE LOMBROSO 



AUTHOR OF "THE MAN OF GENIUS," "THE FEMALE 
OFFENDER," ETC. 

Rendered into English by 
WILLIAM SLOANE KENNEDY 

TRANSLATOR OF CAMILLE FLAMMARION's " MYSTERIOUS PSYCHIC FORCES ' 



40% 



Illustrated by Photographs, Diagrams, etc. 



] 




T. FISHER UNWIN 

LONDON 

W. c. 



Copyright, 1909 

$£ Small, d&aBttarD & Company 

(iNCOBPOBATED) 



Entered at Stationers'' Hall 



THE UNIVERSITY PRESS, CAMBRIDGE, U.S.A. 



PREFACE 

When, at the close of a career — richer in 
fierce logomachy and struggle than in victory 

— in which I have figured as a champion of the 
new trend of human thought in psychiatry and 
criminal anthropology, I began investigations 
into the phenomena of spiritism and afterwards 
determined to publish a book on the subject, my 
nearest friends rose against me on every side, 
crying, " You will ruin an honorable reputation, 

— a career in which, after so many contests, you 
had finally reached the goal ; and all for a theory 
which the whole world not only repudiates, but, 
worse still, thinks to be ridiculous. " 

But all this talk did not make me hesitate for 
a single moment. I thought it my predestined 
end and way and my duty to crown a life passed 
in the struggle for great ideas by entering the 
lists for this desperate cause, the most hotly con- 
tested and perhaps most persistently mocked at 
idea of the times. It seemed to me a duty that, 
up to the very last of the few days now remain- 
ing to me, I should unflinchingly stand my ground 
in the very thick of the fight, where rise the most 
menacing obstructions and where throng the most 
infuriated foes. 

/ S 2> • c l 



vi PREFACE 

And one cannot in conscience blame these op- 
ponents, because spiritistic phenomena, as com- 
monly conceived, seem designed to break down 
that grand idea of monism which is one of the 
most precious fruits of our culture, retrieved by 
so sore a conflict from the clutches of supersti- 
tion and prejudice; and because, furthermore, 
when contrasted with the precision of experi- 
mental phenomena — always accurately tallying 
with each other in time and space — spiritistic 
observations and experiments, so frequently vary- 
ing with different mediums, according to the time 
of day and according to the mental state of the 
participants in the seance, notwithstanding their 
frequent repetition and reinforcement by accurate 
mechanical instruments, and however carefully 
sifted out by the most severely scientific ex- 
perimenters (one need only name such men as 
Crookes, Richet, Lodge, James, Hyslop), are al- 
ways wrapped in a dim atmosphere of uncertainty 
and show a tinge of mediaeval science. But note 
this well, that, however doubtful each separate 
case may appear, in the ensemble they form such 
a compact web of proof as wholly to baffle the 
scalpel of doubt. 

In psychical matters we are very far from 
having attained scientific certainty. But the 
spiritistic hypothesis seems to me like .a conti- 
nent incompletely submerged by the ocean, in 
which are visible in the distance broad islands 



PREFACE vii 

raised above the general level, and which only 
in the vision of the scientist are seen to coalesce 
in one immense and compact body of land, while 
the shallow mob laughs at the seemingly auda- 
cious hypothesis of the geographer. 

Cesare Lombroso. 

Turin, October 29, 1908. 



ERRATA 



Page 8, 1. 29, for Hedenhain read Heidenhain. 

Page 63, 1. 14, for "homo invisibile" read " invisible man." 

Page 66, 1. 6, for Galeotto read Galeotti. 

Pages 72, 120, 332, for Fairland read Fairlamb. 

Page 178, 1. n, for Berret read Barrett. 

Page 219, 1. 19, for Bee read Dee. 

Page 221, read Pelham was Pellew [not Robinson]. 

Page 244, 1. 29, for " Piddington " read Piddington. 

Page 250, 11. 9, 10, read Hudson's Law of Psychic Phenomena. 

Page 250, 11. 29, 30, for Phys. read Psych. Research. 

Page 311, 1. 21, for Dialect read Dialectical. 

Page 325, 1. 4, for the Earth read India. 

Page 332, 1. 11, for Vezzano read Venzano. 

Page 337, 1. 30, for Archives read Annates. 

Page 353, 11. 1-6, for 717 read 593 and for 43 read 83. 



CONTENTS 

Chapter Page 

I Hypnotic Phenomena i 

II Experiments with Eusapia 39 

III Experiments with Accurate Scientific Instru- 

ments 72 

IV The Power and Action of Mediums .... 103 
V Mediums and Magicians in Savage Tribes . . 130 

VI Limitations of the Power of the Medium. . 156 

VII Phantasms and Apparitions of the Dead . . 185 
VIII Belief in the Spirits of the Dead among 

Savages and among Ancient Peoples . . . 204 

IX Identity 221 

X Doubles 246 

XI Transcendental Photographs and Plastiques . 258 

XII Haunted Houses 269 

XIII Tricks, Telepathy, the Unconscious, etc. . . 304 

XIV Biology of the Spirits 329 

Index 357 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

Page 
Cesare Lombroso Frontispiece 

Figs. 1-6 12 

" 7-i° ...» 13 

" 11-14 14 

" 15-18 . . 15 

" 19-21 16 

Fig. 22 Eusapia Paladino in 1907 opp. 38 

" 23 Motion of a Table not Due to the Direct 

Contact of Hands " 42 

" 24 From a Photograph of Complete Levita- 

tion of the Table by Eusapia ... "44 

" 25 Diagram of Table and Sitters 67 

" 26 Mediumistic Sculptures — that to the Left 
by John King (Eusapia), and that to 
the Right by Nicolo R., 1905 . . . opp, 70 
" 27 Plaster Cast of Impression in Clay of 

Medium's Foot " 72 

" 28 Bas-relief of her Face executed by Eusapia 

(Chiaja) " 72 

" 29 Transcendental Sculpture: Bas-reliefs of 

Eusapia's Face and Hand .... " 74 
" 30 Experiment with Cardiograph and Re- 
cording Cylinder 73 

" 31 Cardiographic Tracings by "John" .... 74 
" 32 Cardiographic Tracing by Experimenter . . 75 
" 33 Apparatus for Registering Movements of 
the Medium. — Rotating Cylinder un- 
der Bell-glass 76 

" 34 Experiment with the Manometer 79 



xii ILLUSTRATIONS 

Page 
Fig. 35 Imprint of Fingers, the Result of Radio- 
activity opp. 84 

" 36 Line traced by a Supernumerary Phan- 
tasmal Hand 87 

" 37 Synchronous Registration of Marks .... 88 
" 38 Eusapia in Trance (Spasmodic Laughter, 

etc.) opp. 112 

" 39 Magnesium Light Photograph, etc. . . " 114 

" 40 Eusapia after the Stance "116 

" 41 Flowers drawn with Colored Crayons . " 120 

" 42 a Mediumistic Designs by Machner . . . " 122 

" 42 £ Mediumistic Designs by Machner . . . "124 

" 42 c Mediumistic Designs by Machner ... " 1 26 

" 43 Experiment with Ring and Knotted String " 128 
" 44 Experiment with Knots formed in a Sealed 

String 127 

" 45 The Priestess Uyitshigitshi during a Pre- 
diction opp. 138 

" 46 Kaffir Priestess "140 

" 47 Experiment in Levitation with Zuccarini " 168 
" 48 Luminous Bands as seen in Stances with 

the Randones "188 

" 49 Phantasmal Portrait of Katie King . . "194 
" 50 Phantasmal Photograph of Yolanda, and 

the Phantom of Yolanda "196 

" 51 Spirit Photograph of a Woman buried in 

the Walls of Civita Vecchia .... " 260 

" 52 Spirit Photograph of Bebella . . . . " 262 

" 53 Another Spirit Photograph of Bebella . "266 
" 54 Spirit Photograph taken by Rochas with 

the Medium M. A " 268 

" 55 a x\uto-sculptures by Eusapia " 270 

" 55 b Auto-sculptures by Eusapia .... "276 
" 56 Madame D'Espe'rance enveloped by the 

Net " 3 10 



AFTER DEATH -WHAT? 



AFTER DEATH— WHAT? 

CHAPTER I 

Hypnotic Phenomena 

If ever there was an individual in the world 
opposed to spiritism by virtue of scientific edu- 
cation, and, I may say, by instinct, I was that 
person. I had made it the indefatigable pursuit 
of a lifetime to defend the thesis that every force 
is a property of matter and the soul an emanation 
of the brain, and for years and years had laughed 
at the idea of centre-tables and chairs having 
souls ! 

But if I have always had a passionate devotion 
to my own special science, my own flag, I have 
had a still more ardent love of the truth, the veri- 
fication of the fact. 

Now, although I had such an aversion to 
Spiritualism that for years I refused even to 
be present at a test seance, I was fated to be a 
witness, in 1882, as a neuropathologist, of cer- 
tain very singular psychic phenomena for which 
no scientific explanation whatever has been found, 
except that they occurred in hysteric or hypno- 
tized individuals. 



2 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

TRANSPOSITION OF THE SENSES 

I refer to the case of a certain C. S., the 
fourteen-year-old daughter of one of the most 
active and intelligent men in all Italy. The girl 
suffered from no ailment except sciatica. Her 
mother was healthy, intelligent, and robust. Her 
two brothers at about the age of puberty had an 
extraordinary increase of stature, accompanied 
by a certain degree of pulmonary trouble. The 
girl also, — who was of pleasing aspect, height 
four feet four and one-half inches, the pupil of 
the eye somewhat " midriatic," sense of touch 
normal, and sensitiveness to pain and to colors 
normal, — when near the age of puberty, rapidly 
increased in stature to the amount of six inches, 
and, at the first hints of the menstrual function, 
experienced severe hysterical troubles connected 
with the stomach (vomitings, dyspepsia), so that 
during one month she could swallow only solid 
food, and in another only liquids; the third 
month hysterical convulsions were the symptoms, 
— a state of hyperaesthesia so marked that the 
patient believed a wire placed on her hand to 
be as heavy as a bar of iron. Another month 
blindness developed, with hysterogenic points on 
the little finger and on the rectum, which, when 
touched, exhibited not only convulsive move- 
ments, but motor paresis in the legs, with exag- 
gerated spastic reflex movements, contractions, 



HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA 3 

and muscular energy increased to such a de- 
gree that the pressure of the hand on the 
dynamometer caused a rise from 32 kilograms 
to 47. 

At this point extraordinary phenomena mani- 
fested themselves ; that is to say, somnambulism 
appeared, during which the girl showed singular 
activity in domestic labor and great affection 
for her parents and unusual aptitude for music. 
Later a change in her character appeared, — a 
virile audacity and immorality. But the most 
extraordinary circumstance was that while she 
had lost the power of vision with her eyes, as a 
compensation she saw with the same degree of 
acuteness (7 in the scale of Jaeger) at the point 
of the nose and the left lobe of the ear. In this 
way she read a letter which had just come to 
me from the post-office, although I had blind- 
folded her eyes, and was able to distinguish the 
figures on a dynamometer. Curious, also, was 
the new mimicry with which she reacted to the 
stimuli brought to bear on what we will call im- 
provised and transposed eyes. For instance, 
when I approached a finger to her ear or to her 
nose, or made as if I were going to touch it, 
or, better still, when I caused a ray of light to 
flash upon it from a distance with a lens, were 
it only for the merest fraction of a second, she 
was keenly sensitive to this and irritated by it. 
" You want to blind me ! " she cried, her face 



4 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

making a sudden movement like one who is men- 
aced. Then, with an instinctive simulation en- 
tirely new, as the phenomenon itself was new, 
she lifted her forearm to protect the lobe of the 
ear and the point of the nose, and remained thus 
for ten or twelve minutes. 

Her sense of smell was also transposed; for 
ammonia or asafcetida, when thrust under her 
nose, did not excite the slightest reaction, while, 
on the other hand, a substance possessing the 
merest trace of odor, if held under the chin, made 
a vivid impression on it and excited a quite 
special simulation (mimica). Thus, if the odor 
was pleasing, she smiled, winked her eyes, and 
breathed more rapidly; if it was distasteful, she 
quickly put her hands up to that part of the chin 
that had become the seat of the sensation and 
rapidly shook her head. 

Later the sense of smell became transferred to 
the back of the foot; and then, when any odor 
displeased her, she would thrust her legs to right 
and to left, at the same time writhing her whole 
body; when an odor pleased her, she would re- 
main motionless, smiling and breathing quickly. 

Next appeared phenomena of prediction and 
clairvoyance, for she foresaw, with what I would 
call mathematical exactness, and sometimes fif- 
teen or sixteen days previously, the day of her 
cataleptic fits, — the hour in which they were 
to occur and the particular metal to be used in 



HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA 5 

checking them. Thus, on the 15th of June she 
predicted that on July 2 she would be delirious 
and would then have seven cataleptic fits that 
would be healed with gold; on the 25th of July 
pharyngismus and pains in her limbs; on July 6 
cataleptic fits at the first drop of water that 
should be sprinkled on her, and a state of calm 
thereafter up to the 12th, when she would be 
taken with a fit at six o'clock in the morning, 
with a tendency to bite and tear things, which 
would not be quieted but by a half-teaspoonful 
of quinine and three drops of ether. All took 
place precisely as she had predicted. On the 
14th she predicted that the four fits to come on 
the 15th would be cured with lead; and, to tell 
the truth, this was found useful, but gold helped 
still more. If there was any mistake made here, 
it was not in the selection of gold (which she 
had foretold the use of with precision) nor in 
the number of the fits. She later predicted things 
that were to happen to her father and brother, 
and two years afterward they were verified. She 
clairvoyantly saw from her sick-bed her brother 
in the coulisses of a theatre (as in fact he was), 
distant more than half a mile from the house. 

Nor are such phenomena as these at all iso- 
lated. As early as 1808 Petetin cited the cases 
of eight cataleptic women in whom the external 
senses had been transferred to the epigastric re- 
gion and into the fingers of the hand and the 



6 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

toes of the feet (Electricite Animate, Lyons, 
1808). 

In 1840 Carmagnola, in the Giornale dell' Ac- 
cademia di Medicina, describes a case quite analo- 
gous to ours. It concerned a girl fourteen years 
old, in whom, as in the other case mentioned, the 
menstrual function had begun only a few months 
previous, and who was troubled with convulsive 
coughing fits, with headaches, swoonings, sob- 
bings when she drank, fits of dyspnoea, mimetic 
convulsions during which she would sing, sleep- 
ing spells that lasted for three days, and true fits 
of somnambulism during which she saw distinctly 
with the hand, selected ribbons, identified colors, 
and read even in the dark. 

Wishing to look at herself in the mirror, she 
put her hands before it, and, when she saw 
nothing there but these, lowered them in order 
to see her face. Not succeeding in this, she 
grew enraged, and, stamping on the floor, ran 
away. The first act (lowering the hands) was 
spontaneous, instinctive, and the exact counter- 
part of the action of the " C. S." mentioned above, 
who would cover up the lobe of the ear when 
it was irritated by the finger of the experi- 
menter or by an unexpected ray of light, — a 
phenomenon in itself sufficient to exclude simu- 
lation. That my readers may no longer claim 
that these are matters of recent discovery, let 
them note that in this case, as in that of Petetin, 



HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA 7 

the application of gold or of silver always calmed 
the frenzies of the girl and made her light- 
hearted again, — so much so that during her fits 
she would run eagerly about hunting for those 
metals. One day she touched bronze, believing 
it to be gold; but, although her delusion was 
complete, she got no comfort. Silks and furred 
things deprived her of all strength. Little by 
little she improved, although she relapsed on the 
occasion of every menstruation. 

Despine tells us of a certain Estella of Neu- 
chatel, eleven years old, who was afflicted with 
paresis as the result of an accidental wound in 
the back (trauma), but had improved by the use 
of the baths of Aix, and after magnetic treatment 
was found to have suffered transposition of the 
sense of hearing to various parts of the body, — 
the hand, the elbow, the shoulder, and (during 
her lethargic crisis) the epigastrium, and at the 
same time acquired greater skill in swimming and 
horseback riding. The application of gold pro- 
duced extraordinary energy. 

Frank (Praxeos Medicce, Univ. Torino, 1821) 
publishes an account of a person named Baerk- 
mann in whom the sense of hearing was trans- 
posed to the epigastrium, the frontal bone, or the 
occiput. 

Dr. Augonova studied at Carmagnola, in 1840, 
a certain G. L., a girl fourteen years old, who 
had become dyspeptic and amenorrhceic as the 



8 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

consequence of a fit of displeasure. During som- 
nambulistic states, toward the middle of the night, 
she would identify pieces of money placed before 
the nape of the neck and distinguished odors by 
the back of her hands. Later, at the end of 
April, sight and hearing got themselves trans- 
posed to the epigastric region, so that with her 
eyes bandaged she could read from a book held 
a few steps away. 

The same doctor records his observations of 
a woman (Piovano), aged twenty-two, afflicted 
with hysterical catalepsy and epileptic fits, who 
in the artificial somnambulistic condition could 
see now with the nape of the neck and now with 
the epigastrium, and who heard with the feet. 
She claimed that she saw in her own body thirty- 
three worms, which after the lapse of a certain 
time she actually voided! 

And then the phenomenon is to be correlated 
and joined with what was well enough known 
at the time, but was not noticed, respecting or- 
dinary somnambulists who see very well either 
with the eyes wide open, but insensible, or with 
the eyelids shut, or else the head thrown back 
and the eyes lifted up as in the case of persons 
asleep. Evidently they see with some other part 
of the body than the eye. Preyer and Berger, 
who in their time observed this class of facts, 
just as Hedenhain does to-day, believe they in- 
terpret them truly on the hypothesis of greater 



HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA 9 

tactual sensitiveness and more acute visual power. 
It is true that these are frequently noted in such 
cases; but supposing that this may explain at 
the utmost the visual power in a darker room 
(a circumstance which does not apply in the cases 
just noted), still it cannot explain the transposi- 
tion in the case just mentioned, in which the 
tactile sensitiveness is observed to be abrolutely 
identical both before and after as well as during 
the attack, and vision shows the same degree of 
acuteness in the two states or stages. In the 
case just cited visual perception resides in two 
points of the skin. But the sense of touch is the 
lowest, and does not suffice, at any rate, to ex- 
plain the reading of a manuscript. 

If more modern authors did not bestow any 
attention on cases like these, and Hasse could 
call them " illusions," it is because, in obedience 
to a tendency which is praiseworthy even when 
excessive, they were willing to admit only those 
facts which could be scientifically explained. It 
was for this reason that scientists were so cau- 
tious in believing in the performances of the 
magnet, and many of the results that the mag- 
netizers empirically obtained, — catalepsy, hyp- 
nosis, hyperesthesia, — matters which are now, 
up to a certain point, accurately accounted for 
(Heidenhain). The truth is that it is absolutely 
impossible for us to give a scientific interpreta- 
tion of these facts, — facts which bring us to the 



io AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

vestibule of that world which is properly spoken 
of as being still occult because unexplained. 1 

Still, the mysteries of clairvoyance may in part 
be explained by a kind of auto-suggestion, by 
that sharp instinct of one's own condition that 
enables the dying person to specify the last hour 
of his life. Yet there may be more in it than 
that: perhaps the regular unfolding of the phe- 
nomena of one's own nervous illness can be better 
observed, since, during the extraordinary excite- 
ment of the somnambulistic ecstasy, we acquire 
a deeper consciousness of our organism, in the 
living interlocked wheel-work of whose states, or 
conditions, there are registered potentially (in 
the germ) the varied succession of morbid 
phenomena. 

Here belongs an act noted for the first time by 
our countryman Salvioli (in my Archivio di Psi- 
chiatria e Science Penally vol. ii. p. 415), — 
namely, that in somnambulism the flow of blood 
to the brain is greater than in the waking hours, 
and greater consequently the activity of the 
psyche, in the same way that there is an increase 
in the muscular excitability. Indeed, the invalid 
girl I referred to some pages back, who acquired 
in the somnambulistic state an increase of energy 
of twelve kilograms registered on the dynamom- 
eter, yet affirmed to me that in that state she 

1 Further on, in Chapter X, I shall make some statements concerning 
the double which will serve as a provisional explanation. 



HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA II 

was unable to possess her soul in quiet, but must 
be ever grinding out new ideas. 

But the foregoing conclusion no longer serves 
when clairvoyance attains such a pitch of power 
as to predict what would happen to a father and 
brothers two years after the time of the predic- 
tion, nor can it explain to us scientifically the 
transposition of the senses. 

The sole fact that emerges here in a marked 
manner is that the phenomena take place in 
hysterical subjects and during severe hysterical 
attacks. 

TRANSMISSION OF THOUGHT (SUGGESTION) 

A similar state of things has been noted in the 
cases (for the most part unstudied by science) 
of suggestion, or the transmission of thought 
from one mind to another. Such are the circum- 
stances communicated to me by Grimaldi and 
Ardu, in the case of a certain E. B., of Nocera, 
a young man twenty years old, who became sub- 
ject to hysteria in consequence of thwarted 
love at the age of fifteen. This lad had the 
cranium dolicocephalic (76), face extraordi- 
narily asymmetric, with a feminine look; acute- 
ness of vision; sense of touch normal, though 
keener on the left; sensitive to all the metals, 
and especially to copper and gold, which calm 
the palpitations of his heart and the pain of the 
muscles (myalgia). Being, as he is, a person 



12 



AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 



of exaggerated sympathies and antipathies, of 
timidity so extreme as to fear the shadow in 
a dark corner, highly changeable and capricious 
in his disposition, influenced by suggestion to 
such an extent as to obey the command not to 



o 



Fig. i. 




Fig. 2. 



o 



Fig. 3. 




Fig. 4. 





Fig. 5. Fig. 6. 

feel the keenest pains inflicted on him with a 
needle and a red-hot iron, he also exhibits the 
phenomena of transposed senses. He could divine 
a word or a number in another's mind and re- 
produce figures drawn behind his back at a cer- 
tain distance while his eyes were blindfolded by 



HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA 



13 



a thick bandage passing around the head over 
the ears. 

If a rhomb is drawn for him (Fig. 1), he re- 
produces it roughly (Fig. 2) and hesitatingly, 
but succeeds much better with the circle (Figs. 
3>4). 





Fig. 8. 



Fig. 7. 




Fig. 9. 





Fig. 10. 



Considerable difficulty is encountered in the 
reproduction of a triangle (Figs. 5, 6). After a 
longer meditation or reflection than in the first 
case, he draws two sides. The third, that of the 
base, is drawn with visible uncertainty. Instead 
of being a right line, it is broken in zigzag 
fashion. 

Scarcely is this experiment finished, when the 
subject, whose face is a little inflamed, complains 
of a severe pain in his head. We remove the 



H 



AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 



bandage and allow him to rest for a little while. 
After ten minutes the experiments are resumed. 





Fig. ii. 



Fig. 12. 



In executing the figure of a polygon (which 
might also be deemed the profile of a hut), he 
finds no difficulty whatever (Figs. 7, 8). On the 
other hand, an inverted cone requires a first and 
a second reproduction (Figs. 9, 10). 

The symptoms of exhaustion suddenly appear, 
— redness of the face and torpor in the move- 
ments of the body. Hence two experiments are 
unsuccessful. 





Fig. 13. Fig. 14. 

He next reproduces the head of a man (Figs. 
11, 12), adding ears, however, and the figure 
of a bird (Figs. 15, 16), with the addition of 



HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA 15 

feathers, but does not succeed in reproducing a 
small tree (Figs. 13, 14), although he gives a 
confused idea of it in his tracings of a woman's 
head. 

We suggest in writing the word Margherita, 
and it is reproduced, as also the words Andrea, 





Fig. 15. Fig. 16. 

etc. (Figs. 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21). His first 
attempt to reproduce Margherita resulted in 
Maria. But on the second attempt he gets it 
right (Margherita). 

The suggestioner wrote Andrea (Fig. 17), re- 

Fig. 17. Fig. 18. 

produced as in Fig. 18, in a style much like that 
of a boy copying an example. 

The suggestioner next wrote the words Amore 
and Maria, erasing the first by a line drawn 
through it. This was reproduced as in the draw- 
ings shown in Figs. 20 and 21. 

After the subject is tired, he reproduces noth- 



16 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

ing more. When mentally bid to open an ink- 
stand or a door, he succeeds almost without effort, 
although he is blindfolded; but the continuation 
of the trials puts him into somnambulistic and 



jh*e*c~M> 



cur* 

Fig. 19. 

cataleptic states. Pressure on the temples causes 
him to pass into the somnambulistic state, from 
which he wakens when bidden. 

In the series of elaborate movements inspired 
by mental suggestion we found errors which 
might have led us to believe we had met with so 



C^foi 



O&tA^&L, 



Fig. 20. 



<Jl 



OUL^O, 



Fig. 21. 

many failures. On the contrary, they fitted with 
admirable clearness into the list of graphic errors 
just described. 

The idea was once conveyed to him by sugges- 
tion that he open the door of the room. He ran 
to open it, and up to this point the experiment was 



HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA 17 

successful; but in place of stopping there he 
called in a loud voice for the servant. The phe- 
nomena must positively be classified as pertaining 
to the hysteric and hypnotic condition of the 
individual. 

These evident proofs of the transmission of 
thought by neurotics stimulated us to undertake 
similar /experiments x on a large scale. Out of 
twenty subjects studied in whom transmission of 
thought was successful (in that they were able to 
divine the name of a paper, a number, etc.), 
twelve were neuropathies and were the ones 
who guessed most rapidly and with the greater 
precision. 

They succeeded better if they were able to 
put themselves into the condition of mono-ideism, 
bandaging their eyes and stopping their ears. In 
three cases immediate contact facilitated the read- 
ing; or, rather, it was the indispensable condi- 
tion thereof. In three others it had no influence 
whatever. In one instance emotion was of as- 
sistance, the transmitter being a lady who was 
loved by the subject. Sometimes the human 
figure, as contrasted with lines and flowers, was 
better transmitted, with a difference in its favor 
of ten per cent. And this is comprehensible, be- 
cause living figures are more energetically per- 
ceived; and when one does not feel deeply he 
cannot transmit thought. 

1 Studies in Hypnotism, 1882. 
2 



1 8 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

In some cases the transmission is facilitated 
by the use of alcoholic drinks or of coffee, which 
stimulate the nervous centres. 

But these observations of mine were a very 
small affair compared with the hundreds and 
thousands of similar ones (controlled more mi- 
nutely in details) which were made in England 
and France. 

In England the celebrated Society for Psy- 
chical Research instituted very delicate experi- 
ments upon individuals in the sleeping state and 
the waking state, causing them to draw on a 
blackboard a figure which another person on 
another floor or in another and distant environ- 
ment sketched on a sheet of paper, — such as 
bits of complicated three-angled things, build- 
ings, strange names (for example, " chevalon "). 
Now, the results of these experiments were very 
happy. Successful were one in every 5* among 
those hypnotized by suggestion, and one in every 
43 among the non-hypnotized. 

Other more recent experiments of this Eng- 
lish commission (the report of which already fills 
a volume) were conducted in the presence of 
Dr. Guthrie and Professor Herdmann. 

The subject, or medium, in this case is Miss 
Relph, who remains seated while the objects 
selected are hidden behind a curtain and behind 
her back. The experiments take place without 
contact. 



HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA 



19 



Object Thought 

Red paper cut in the shape 
of little egg-holders with 
a white egg inside. 

Blue paper in the form of 
a soup-plate. 



Red paper cut in the form 

of a vase. 
A sword. 



A red circle. 

Silver paper cut in the 

shape of a tile-kiln. 
A yellow rectangle. 

A louis d'or. 

Three of hearts (card). 

Five of clubs. 

Eight of diamonds. 

A card with two red 
crosses. 



Object Divined 



Something red, longer than 
it is wide. 

Is it azure colored ? Wider 
on top than in the mid- 
dle; still wider like a 
soup-plate. 

Is it red? I see only the 
color. 

Something that shines ; sil- 
ver or steel; long and 
slender. 

Is it red? It is round. 

It is of shining silver, like 
a coffee-pot; a tile-kiln. 

Is it yellow? Longer than 
wide. 

It is shining yellow, of 
gold; it is round. 

It is a card with two red 
dots. A three of hearts 
or something similar. 

It is another card with five 
black points. 

It is a card with many red 
points; a ten. 

It is something yellow. I 
do not see well. It is a 
card with red dots. 



No one could believe that the laws of proba- 
bility would permit even a distant approxima- 
tion to results like these. For mark well that 
even the errors, or rather semi-errors, represent 
a state of imperfect transmission, though as- 



20 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

suredly bearing but a small proportion to the bulk 
of the case. 

But more important results are obtained from 
experiments made by the comparative method 
with subjects in a state of waking or of hypno- 
tism. Richet, after having assured himself that 
the probability of drawing any particular given 
card from the 52 playing-cards in a pack is 428 
out of a total of 1833 trials, made the same ex- 
periments with cards held in the hand of a friend, 
the selection of each card to be that which the 
friend fixed on in his mind. He obtained the 
figure 510, — a gain of 52 over the probable 
figure. In this case the degree of probability did 
not exceed y^. 

Experimenting with 218 photographs and like- 
nesses, while the probable figure would have been 
42, he obtained 67. 

In a third series the number of the cards (to 
be exact) was -f^. In this series, for eight times 
in succession, the card turned up marked pre- 
cisely the same, while the probability of obtain- 
ing eight identical cards in succession is y§, which 
is equivalent to 7 ,i 64> 958,643,456 *• 

Taking up suggestion, the members of the 
London Society for Psychical Research obtained 
9 successes out of 14 experiments at the first trial, 
and 5 successes out of 5 at the second. That is 
to say, while in the first experiment the figure of 
probability was 0.25, the true figure was 9. 



HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA 21 

In other similar experiments by Stewart y^f 
was obtained. 1 If the case had been that of 
playing-cards, the number of the cards indicated 
would have had to be 22 and not 45. Operat- 
ing upon individuals subject to hysteria, but not 
hypnotized, Ochorowitz obtained 13 successes 
out of 31, the task being in these cases to divine 
a letter, a number, a name (such as Maria), or 
a taste. 

By the employment of suggestion with hypno- 
tized persons he afterwards got 15 successes out 
of 20, whereas, according to the estimate of the 
probabilities, he would not have been able to get 
more than 1 success in 24. 2 

From all this Richet would make the follow- 
ing deductions : 

First. The thought of an individual is trans- 
mitted, without the aid of outward tokens, to an 
individual near him. 

Second. This mental transmission of the 
thought affects the second of the individuals 
with varying degrees of intensity. 

These transmissions of thought become still 
more extraordinary when they are perceived to 
take place at a distance, and at distances some- 
times enormous. Furthermore, cases of this kind 
would be seen to be still more frequent if our 
scepticism did not hinder us from collecting and 
recording them with scientific accuracy. 

1 Thought Reading, 1883. 2 La Suggestion, 1890. 



22 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

Thus a few years ago (in 1887) the report 
ran that a little Novarese girl had had a mental 
perception of the illness of her mother, who 
was at Settimo-Torinese. A few days later 
De Vesme, by direction of the Italian Psycho- 
logical Society, verified the fact that at half-past 
twelve o'clock on the 17th of February, 1887, 
Anna Voretto, while busied about her affairs, 
was suddenly taken ill and died on the next day. 
At nine o'clock p. m. of the 17th the sister of 
the woman received a telegram telling her to 
come with the child (Stella), daughter of the 
dying woman. Now seven witnesses depose to 
the fact that the child had showed herself highly 
agitated ever since one o'clock of the 17th, asking 
to go to her mother because she was ill. The next 
day, on the train for Novara, the child cried out 
that mamma was dead. 

Professor De Sanctis not long ago communi- 
cated to me the following narrative of a similar 
case of telepathy or presentiment: 

" During the second half of last September I 
found myself in Rome without my family, who 
were in the country. Inasmuch as during the 
previous year thieves had visited my house, my 
brother was in the habit of coming to pass the 
night with me. One evening, — I am uncertain 
whether the 16th, 17th, or 18th of September, — 
it being a gala night at the Costanzi Theatre, in 



HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA 23 

honor of the Spanish journalists then present in 
Rome, my brother told me he was going there. 
Hence on that evening I returned home alone. 
I began to read something, but soon perceived 
that I was filled with apprehension. I shook ofif 
the unpleasant thoughts and began to undress, but 
an inner uneasiness disturbed me. I went to bed 
trying vigorously to fight down the idea that the 
Costanzi Theatre was afire and that my brother 
might be in danger. I extinguished the candle, 
but the idea of the fire fairly possessed me and 
so tortured me that I was obliged (a thing con- 
trary to all my habits) to light the candle again 
and await my brother's return with open eyes. 

" I was actually in a state of terror, as a 
boy might be. About half-past twelve I heard 
the house-door open, and presently said to my 
brother, ' Well, did you have a good time ? ' as 
if to give the direct lie to my fears. What was 
my wonder to hear him reply, ' Good time in- 
deed ! A little more, and we should all have been 
burned to death ! ' Then he told me of the panic 
that had taken place when the fire first broke 
out at the Costanzi, the particulars of which were 
given next day by the journals. 

" On comparing the exact time when the affair 
took place at the Costanzi with the time when 
I began to be obsessed with the idea of the fire, 
we found that the two were coincident/' 

Professor Mercandino obtained the following 



24 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

account from a female client of his whose sons 
had undertaken the ascent of Mount Cibrario. 
She went to bed and slept tranquilly up to the 
middle of the night. At two she awoke with a 
start, seeming to see her son Gustave upon the 
precipitous rocks and to hear him groaning and 
refusing to follow his brother Cesare, who was 
giving him a stimulating liqueur to drink and kept 
vehemently urging him to rise, even calling him 
a coward. Next day, when they had returned, 
they affirmed that sure enough at two o'clock in 
the morning that had occurred which the mother 
at the same hour had clairvoyantly perceived, 
and that Cesare in his distress had thought, " If 
mamma could see us! Oh, if we could only 
get home again ! " 

Tschurtschenthaler tells an incident of a boy 
subject to convulsions and having a hysterogenic 
point. This boy's two brothers were in America. 
One day, without having been in any way noti- 
fied of it, he declared, first, that he saw them on 
the sea, and afterwards disembarking in Liguria, 
and he made these asseverations on the very day 
and at the very hour when the event actually 
occurred. 

Dr. Pagliani writes me of having studied the 
case of a certain Caroline A., a woman of twenty- 
four years (two years married), a somnambulist 
and often cataleptic, who, by taking the hand 
of people and smelling it, would divine their 



HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA 25 

thoughts, even when they did their thinking in 
a foreign tongue to her unknown. He noticed 
that the thought was transmitted to a distance 
by an iron wire, even as far as six metres. 

I will add to these instances two, procured by 
me, of the truth of which I can have not the 
slightest doubt. 

A lady whom I will designate as Madame V. 
was at the theatre in Florence at half-past ten 
on an evening in November, 1882, when sud- 
denly she uttered a cry and refused to remain 
any longer at the theatre, saying that she felt 
that her father was seriously ill. Arrived home, 
she first found a telegram containing the news 
that her father was dying at Turin, and then a 
second telegraphic message to the effect that he 
had died at half-past ten. Madame V. was sub- 
ject to hysteria. 

Mrs. F. J. had in her house a maid whom a 
soldier (lover or husband, whichever he was) 
came almost every evening to see, with the per- 
mission of the mistress. One evening, at the 
usual hour, this man asked admittance. Mrs. J., 
seized with fear, caused the doors to be barred 
and refused him admission, justifying herself 
later to her husband by saying that the idea 
entered her head at the time that the man wanted 
to assassinate her and rob the house. That 
night a pane of glass was broken, the house en- 
tered, and certain sums of money taken, though 



26 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

of small account. No one was any longer think- 
ing of the occurrence, when one day the servant- 
maid unguardedly allowed the truth to leak out 
among the neighbors, — how that night when the 
mistress had repulsed her betrothed he had plotted 
to kill her, seize the keys, open the strong-box, steal 
a large sum, and flee with her to a foreign land. 

Now, in these cases, it is in vain to assert, as 
I used to do at first, that thought, being a phe- 
nomenon of movement, can be transmitted to 
either a short or a long distance. For it may 
be justly opposed to this that the force of vibra- 
tory motion decreases as the square of the dis- 
tances, and that therefore, even if transmissions 
of thought to a short distance may still be ex- 
plained thus, we cannot understand those between 
two distant points, which dart through space to 
affect the mind of the percipient without dis- 
sipating themselves on the way, and beginning 
their flight from an instrument like the brain 
which is not fixed upon an immovable base. 

But what it behooves us to note in these cases 
is that the majority of the transmissions were 
those of hysterics and epileptics. 

THE PREMONITIONS OF HYSTERICS AND 
EPILEPTICS 

And then how explain premonitions, — predic- 
tions made, not by eminent persons, geniuses, 
individuals of sound mind in a sound body, but 



HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA 27 

by invalids, or even during our dreams, when 
ideation is so vague and wandering, and when 
our psychic personality loses its sense of 
individuality ? 

A certain Castagneri wrote to De Vesme in 
September, 1886, how on the 8th of that month a 
servant-girl named Bianchi-Capelli had dreamed 
that her mother, a fruit-vender at Cesena, had 
been cheated out of three hundred lire and that 
her brother was ill. She was profoundly dis- 
turbed, and nothing availed to give her peace. 
On the nth she received letters setting forth 
that on the very day after the night of her 
dream the two identical events took place, as 
De Vesme was able to authenticate by testimony. 

I had in my care, for treatment, the famous 
Dr. C, one of the most distinguished of our 
young savans, and at the same time one of the 
most neurotic, in whom since puberty hysteria 
had been present in its true form, with not a 
few marks of degeneracy and grave hereditary 
defects. For some years he had noticed that he 
possessed powers of premonition, and it was his 
consciousness of this that one day hindered him 
from taking a single step to meet a friend who had 
telegraphed that he was coming. The doctor had 
a sure feeling that he would not come. He fre- 
quently announced to his mother the arrival of 
a letter, or a person whom he had not seen and 
whom he minutely described. 



28 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

But the most important fact for us, because 
the best authenticated, is that on the 4th of 
February, 1894, he predicted the burning of the 
Como Exposition (which actually took place on 
the 6th of July) with such firm assurance as to 
induce members of his family who had had other 
proofs of the accuracy of his predictions to sell 
all the shares of the Milan Fire Insurance Com- 
pany for the sum of 149,000 lire ($29,800). It 
is important to note that, as the time of the fire 
drew near, he felt the certainty of it less, — in 
the conscious state, — although he automatically 
repeated the prediction, as those about him re- 
member, especially on the morning of the day 
when the fire took place, thus verifying in this 
case (at least for the conscious state) what 
Dante records {Inferno, Canto X) of the pro- 
phetic powers of the shades, with special refer- 
ence to Farinata, who predicted his exile, while 
other spirits in his circle of Hades showed them- 
selves entirely ignorant of every present event. 

" I made the prediction offhand, on the spur of 
the moment," he himself wrote me, " and cannot 
conceive how I could have attained so intense 
a conviction, no consideration of a technical kind 
having any influence on my prophecy. At that 
time I could not have seen anything more than 
the enclosing fence of the exposition, the build- 
ing of the main edifice not having progressed 
very far. 



HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA 29 

" I am unable to say whether previous to that 
day there was any vague presentiment lurking 
in me. Certainly I did not have a clear and 
definite idea before I observed the sign of the 
fire insurance company. 

" I remember very well that at that moment 
I had no hallucination, either visual, caloric, or 
the like. So far as I was concerned, the fatal 
necessity of that disaster had acquired the cer- 
tainty of a thunderbolt: it was not a thing to 
be discussed, but seemed to be an intuition of the 
truth, so to speak. 

" It was the surprise awakened in me by this 
inexplicable state of mind that persuaded me to 
act in conformity with the presentiment ; and so 
much the more readily because, in spite of my 
scepticism about Spiritualism, I have had at other 
times to note the truth of my presentiments. 

" I will add that the shares of the Milanese 
company formed an asset of the highest credit 
in the market, and that the sale of them was 
very easy, because such investment of money was 
then much more remunerative than that in funds 
or annuities. 

" After the shares had been sold, I gave no 
more thought to the matter, and in the month 
before the fire the idea had apparently dropped 
out of my mind altogether. 

" But the person who attended me asserts, and 
is ready to testify to it, that when I was dis- 



30 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

traught I would frequently repeat in the dialect 
of Como, ' All must burn/ and that on the very 
morning of the fire I uttered these words sev- 
eral times/' 

The doctor was born of parents who were 
first cousins and neurotics. He had an epileptic 
sister. His cranium very large, of 1161 centi- 
metres capacity; face asymmetrical; hair grown 
white at twelve years, and later becoming black ; 
ears mobile ; field of vision narrowed for the red 
and the blue, with attacks of vertigo. He had 
the strange power of dilating at will the pupil 
of the eye. Since the age of nineteen he had 
had epileptic-hysterical fits, accompanied by 
hallucinations. 

The Proceedings of the Society for Psychical 
Research, March, 1897, contain an account of a 
most extraordinary case of premonition. It con- 
cerns a lady who was summering with her ten- 
year-old daughter at Trinity. One day when the 
little girl was out of doors playing in a favorite 
spot by the sea and near the railway, the mother 
heard an internal voice which urged her to send 
and fetch the child or something frightful would 
happen to it. She hastily called the nurse and 
bade her run quickly and bring her. She soon 
had her again safe and sound. A half-hour 
afterwards a train was derailed and smashed to 
pieces right where the little girl had been ac- 
customed to play and where she certainly would 



HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA 31 

have been if she had not been sent for. Three 
of the four trainmen were killed. 

These phenomena of premonition and predic- 
tion are of such frequent occurrence that many 
more might be selected out of contemporary nar- 
ratives, — such, for instance, as De Witt's Italian 
Brigandage, from which the following narrative 
is cited: 

On the morning of November 4 Lieutenant 
Perrino rose at five o'clock and said to the mis- 
tress of the house, who was preparing his break- 
fast, that he had no wish to eat on account of 
an ugly dream he had had in the night. Perrino 
was a man approaching thirty years, his com- 
plexion dusky-carnation, slow in his movements, 
rather fond of his ease and comforts, and habit- 
ually melancholy. 

On the evening of the 3d of November he was 
in a cheerful frame of mind, and there was 
nothing about him to indicate the misfortune 
impending over him. On going to bed, his 
head had scarcely touched the pillow when 
he was fast asleep; but in his dream he seemed 
to himself to have been bound to a tree, with 
his orderly, and the two to have been shot by 
brigands. 

His hosts and Captain Rota laughed heartily 
at his story. The next day, with half a com- 
pany of men and two carabineers, he set out for 



32 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

the farm hamlet of Melanico, — a quarter where 
brigands were usually to be looked for, — to 
make the usual daily reconnoitre. These forty- 
two soldiers and their officers ought to have had 
with them a company of the national guard ; but 
Captain De Matteis, with a hundred and fifty 
national guards, having learned that the environs 
of the forest of Bosco were swarming with fero- 
cious ruffians, made a halt a mile from the vil- 
lage, and begged the captain of the other troop 
to do the same. Rota would pay no attention to 
him, and went with his scanty troop to confront 
a hostile force numerically ten times stronger 
than his own. 

Arrived at a certain point, he spied on a prom- 
ontory four horsemen who were the pickets of 
the united bands of brigands encamped in no 
trifling numbers behind the promontory. In 
order to reach the summit of this, the captain 
directed his platoon of soldiers to traverse a 
ploughed field, which on account of the rain of 
the day previous was muddy and ill adapted for 
walking. He and the nimblest men of his com- 
pany had run over a good part of that field. 
Lieutenant Perrino, on the other hand, and the 
feeblest walkers had got stuck in the mud up 
to their knees and were much farther behind 
than the troop that had followed the horse of 
Captain Rota. Just then Perrino had halted on 
a little tract of solid ground in the middle of the 



HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA 33 

field where three or four oak-trees spread their 
branches. All the ploughed ground was enclosed 
between hillocks and meadows held fallow for 
pasturage, and from these places, which were 
higher than the others, the eye could easily range 
over the broad bottom-land where was the troop 
of soldiers. All of a sudden, dashing out from 
the high ground on the sides, ten half-squadrons 
of mounted brigands, each composed of about 
forty men, almost simultaneously opened fire on 
the scattered troop, riding up to discharge their 
guns and then making off out of sight to have 
time to reload. After a long and useless resist- 
ance the troopers were one after another sur- 
rounded, shot by sharpshooters, captured, abused 
or tortured, and killed. 

The first group to fall into the hands of the 
brigands was that of Lieutenant Perrino. He 
and his orderly, inasmuch as they were captured 
alive and unhurt, were tied together, bound to 
an oak-tree, and both shot at the same time. The 
dream had come true. 1 

The dream that led Dante's son Jacopo to find 
the thirteen lost cantos of the Paradiso is a matter 
of history. 

Dante Alighieri died during the night of Sep- 
tember 13-14, 1 32 1. His sons Jacopo and Piero 
at once set about the task of collecting the differ- 
ent parts of the great poem, which were still scat- 

1 The History of Brigandage, by A. De Witt, Florence, 1884, p. 317. 

3 



34 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

tered here and there. Jacopo especially interested 
himself in the work. 

But the enterprise was difficult. Boccaccio in 
his Life of Dante relates that the two sons repeat- 
edly searched in vain every nook and cranny of 
the house and all of his manuscripts, the search 
extending over months. They were quite morti- 
fied " that God had not lent the great poet to the 
world long enough at least for him to be able to 
compose the small remaining part of his work." 
And " they had been induced by the persuading 
powers of certain of their friends to endeavor, in 
so far as in them lay (they were both rhymers) 
to supply the missing portion in order that it 
should not remain imperfect." But in the mean- 
time Jacopo had a most wonderful vision. He 
" saw his father come to him, clothed in the 
whitest garments and his face resplendent with 
an extraordinary light." Jacopo seized the op- 
portunity to ask the shade of his father several 
questions, and among others this, " Whether he 
had completed his work before passing into the 
true life, and, if he had done so, what had become 
of that part of it which was missing and which 
they none of them had been able to find. To this 
it seemed to him that the second time he heard 
the reply, ' Yes, I finished it ' ; and then the spec- 
tral form took him by the hand and led him into 
that chamber where he (Dante) had been accus- 
tomed to sleep when he lived in this life, and, 



HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA 35 

touching a certain place in one of the walls, said, 
' What you have sought for so much is here/ At 
these words both Dante and sleep fled from Jacopo 
at once/' 

Jacopo Alighieri, agitated both by joy and by 
fear at the same time, rose, although it was mid- 
dark of the night, and, having traversed in haste 
the deserted streets of Ravenna, came to the house 
of Pier Giardini, a notary who had lived on terms 
of great intimacy with the elder Dante, and re- 
lated to him what he had seen. They resolved to 
investigate at once. " For which purpose, al- 
though it was still far in the night, they set off 
together, and went to the designated place, and 
there they found a blind, or curtain, of matting 
affixed to the wall. Upon gently raising this, 
they saw a little window never before seen by any 
of them, nor did any one know it was there. In 
it they found several manuscripts, all mouldy 
from the dampness of the walls, so much so that 
if they had remained there much longer they 
would have been spoiled. Having tenderly 
brushed away the mould and read them, they saw 
they were the thirteen cantos so long sought by 
them." 

To this instance we are able to add two recent 
dreams, one a clairvoyant vision and the other 
a dream of premonition, both of which were 
authenticated by the courts of justice and by the 
town treasurer. 



36 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

The first concerns a Miss Loganson, a girl 
nineteen years old, living in Chicago, who saw in 
a dream the scene of the assassination of her 
brother Oscar, a farmer in the town of Marengo, 
about fifty miles northwest of Chicago. For 
many days she kept accusing a farmer, his neigh- 
bor. At first no one paid any attention to her; 
but at length she was permitted to send a tele- 
gram, the reply to which was, " Oscar has dis- 
appeared." Thereupon the girl started for 
Oscar's farm, accompanied by another brother 
and by the police. She led them directly to the 
house of a person named Bedford. It was locked, 
and the police had to force the door. Traces of 
blood were found in the kitchen. Miss Logan- 
son, however, did not stop there, but went at once 
toward the hen-house, the yard of which was 
paved. " My brother is buried there/' she said. 
The police called her attention to the fact that 
the pavement had not been disturbed since the 
hen-house had been built. But, owing to the in- 
sistence of the girl and her terrible agitation, 
consent was given to dig. Under the pavement 
they first found the brother's overcoat, and dig- 
ging deeper came upon his corpse nearly five feet 
down. A description of Bedford was immedi- 
ately telegraphed in every direction, and he was 
arrested at Ellis, Nebraska. 

Miss Loganson could never give any explana- 
tion of her discovery of the crime. She simply 



HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA 37 

said that for several days continuously the spirit 
of her brother had haunted her and agitated her. 

The other dream I have mentioned has to do 
with Rosa Tirone, a servant girl, an hysteric 
thirty-five years old, who had formerly been in 
love with a young man of her village but had not 
been able to marry him owing to the precarious 
condition of his health. The young man died at 
the age of twenty-five. 

One night in November, 1908, Rosa dreamed 
that her quondam lover and fellow-townsman said 
to her, " I don't want to see you working as a 
servant-girl any longer; play these four num- 
bers : 4, 53, 25, 30 " ; and he repeated them, in 
order to impress them on her mind. Then he 
added, " I 'm so thirsty; draw a bucket of water 
from the well and give me a drink." In fact there 
was a well close by, and she drew up water and 
quenched his thirst. 

The next day Rosa Tirone ventured a consid- 
erable sum on the four numbers. They were all 
winning numbers in the drawing of the following 
Sunday. 

The only distinctive feature of this woman, 
who had already received four sentences for swin- 
dlings and thefts, is that she exhibits a purely 
masculine type of character as well as the ten- 
dency to fantastic mendacity that is a trait of 
those afflicted with hysteria. She would brag of 
owning villas, lands, money, and also discussed 



38 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

her investments as if she had a bona fide prop- 
erty. Before the fortunate dream came to her she 
had had a premonition of her good fortune, for 
the same identical lover had said to her in a dream 
that she would become rich. 

There is enough in all these observations to 
enable us to conclude that there exists an im- 
mense series of psychical phenomena that com- 
pletely elude the laws of psycho-physiology, and 
that have solely this feature in common and this 
certainty, — that they take place more readily in 
individuals subject to hysteria, or who are neuro- 
pathic, or who are in the hypnotic or dreaming 
condition, just at the moment, in fact, when the 
normal ideation is more or less completely in- 
active, and in its stead the action of the uncon- 
scious dominates, which is more difficult to sub- 
ject to scientific examination of any kind. 

In short, in the foregoing pages cases are cited 
and verified in which there are manifestations 
(even exaggerated) of a function whose organ 
is as completely inactive as if it were lacking. 



CHAPTER II 

Experiments with Eusapia 

After having convinced myself of this, the chief 
objection had disappeared which I had to occupy- 
ing myself with spiritistic phenomena, as phe- 
nomena that could not really exist because con- 
trary to physiological laws; and, although the 
thing was still repugnant to me, I ended by ac- 
cepting, in March, 1891, an invitation to be pres- 
ent at a spiritualistic experiment in full daylight 
in a Naples hotel and tete-a-tete with Eusapia 
Paladino. And when I then and there saw ex- 
tremely heavy objects transferred through the 
air without contact, from that time on I con- 
sented to make the phenomena the subject of 
investigation. 

Eusapia Paladino was a poor orphan girl, 
born at Murge in 1854, and abandoned by the 
roadside, so to speak. As a young girl she was 
received out of charity as nurse-maid in a family 
of the upper bourgeoisie. 

From the time when she was a little girl she 
had manifestations, either mediumistic or hallu- 
cinatory, whichever they were, without being at 
all able to explain them to herself, — such as hear- 



40 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

ing raps on pieces of furniture on which she 
was leaning, having her clothes or the bed-covers 
stripped from her in the night, and seeing ghosts 
or apparitions. In 1863 Damiani, — who at a 
seance in London had already heard a medium- 
istic communication from " John " to the effect 
that there was a medium in Naples, John affirm- 
ing her to be his daughter, — Damiani, I repeat, 
was present at a spiritualistic seance in the house 
of the family in which Eusapia was living. Dur- 
ing this seance her participation in the proceed- 
ings was attended by the most extraordinary 
phenomena of raps, movement of objects, etc. 
From that time on Damiani and Chiaja got a 
true mediumistic eduction through her; and the 
poor nurse-girl, finding in this a means of gain 
and a method of introducing variety into her 
miserable occupation, went on from time to time 
attending seances, until the business of medium- 
ship became her sole occupation. 

The description of all the experiments made in 
Europe with Eusapia Paladino would fill a huge 
volume. We shall simply content ourselves with 
describing in full the seventeen seances held in 
Milan in 1892, with myself and with Aksakofr", 
Richet, Giorgio Finzi, Ermacora, Brofferio, 
Gerosa, Schiaparelli, and Du Prel, — seances in 
which the most marked precautions were taken, 
such as searching the medium, changing her 
garments, binding her and holding her hands 



EXPERIMENTS WITH EUSAPIA 41 

and feet, and adjusting the electric light on the 
table so as to be able to turn it off and on at 
will. 

EXPERIMENTS WITH EUSAPIA PALADINO 
(MILAN, 1892) 

Phenomena observed in the Light 

I. Mechanical Motions not Explicable by the mere Direct 
Contact of Hands 

i. Lateral Levitation of the Table under the 
Hands of the Medium seated at one of the 
Shorter Sides thereof. We employed for this 
experiment a fir table made expressly for the 
purpose. Among the different movements of the 
table employed to indicate replies it was impos- 
sible not to note the raps frequently given by its 
two sides, which were lifted simultaneously under 
the hands of the medium without any preceding 
lateral oscillation. The blows were given with 
force and rapidity and generally in succession, 
as if the table were fastened to the hands of the 
medium. These movements were the more re- 
markable in that the medium was always seated 
at one end of the table, and because we never 
once let go of her hands and feet. Inasmuch 
as this phenomenon appears very frequently and 
is produced with the greatest ease, in order that 
we might observe it better we left the medium 
alone at the table with her two hands completely 



42 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

above it and her sleeves turned up as far as the 
elbows. 

We remained standing about the table, and 
the spaces above and below it were well lighted. 
Under such conditions the table rose at an angle 
of from 30 to 40 degrees and remained thus for 
some minutes, while the medium was holding her 
legs stretched out and striking her feet one 
against the other. When we then pressed with 
one hand upon the lifted side of the table, we 
experienced a marked elastic resistance. 

2. Measure of the Force applied to the Lateral 
Levitation of the Table. For this experiment the 
table was suspended by one of its ends to a 
dynamometer attached to a cord. The cord was 
tied to a small beam resting on two wardrobes. 
Under such circumstances the end of the table 
was lifted 15 centimetres and the dynamometer 
indicated 33 kilograms. The medium sat at the 
same short end of the table with her hands com- 
pletely above it to the right and left of the point 
where the dynamometer was attached. Our 
hands formed a chain upon the table, without 
pressure, and in any case they would not have 
been able to do more than increase the pressure 
applied to it. The desire was expressed that the 
pressure should diminish instead of increase, and 
soon the table began to rise on the side of the 
dynamometer. M. Gerosa, who was following 
these indications, announced the diminution as 




Fig. 23. Motion of a 



Table not Due to the Direct Contact 
or Hands. 



EXPERIMENTS WITH EUSAPIA 43 

expressed by the successive figures 3, 2, 1, o 
kilograms. In the end the levitation was so great 
that the dynamometer rested horizontally on the 
table. Then we changed the conditions, putting 
our hands under the table. The medium espe- 
cially put hers, not under the edge where it might 
have touched the vertical cornice and exerted a 
push downward, but under the very cornice that 
joined the legs together, and touched this, not 
with the palm, but with the back of the hands. 
Thus all the hands could only have diminished 
the traction upon the dynamometer. When the 
wish was expressed that this traction might 
again increase, M. Gerosa presently announced 
that the figures had increased from 3.5 up to 
5.6 kilograms. 

During all these experiments each foot of the 
medium remained beneath the nearest foot of her 
neighbor to the right and the left. 

3. Complete Levitation of the Table. It was 
natural to conclude that if the table, in apparent 
contradiction with the law of gravitation, was able 
to rise on one side, it would be able to rise com- 
pletely. In fact, that is what happened, and these 
levitations are among those of most frequent oc- 
currence in experiments with Eusapia. They 
were usually produced under the following con- 
ditions : The persons seated around the table place 
their hands on it and form the chain there. Each 
hand of the medium is held by the adjacent hand 



44 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

of the neighbor on each side; each of her feet 
is under the foot of her neighbor; these further- 
more press against her knees with theirs. As 
usual, she is seated at one of the short sides (end) 
of the table, — the position least favorable for 
mechanical levitation. After a few minutes the 
table makes a lateral movement, rises now to the 
right and now to the left, and finally is lifted 
wholly off its four feet into the air, horizontally, 
as if afloat in a liquid, and ordinarily to a height 
of from 10 to 20 centimetres (sometimes, excep- 
tionally, as high as 60 or 70), then falls back on 
all four feet at once. Sometimes it stays in the 
air for several seconds, and even makes fluctu- 
ating motions there, during which the position 
of the feet under it can be thoroughly inspected. 
During the levitation the right hand of the me- 
dium frequently leaves the table with that of 
her neighbor and remains suspended above it. 
Throughout the experiment the face of the me- 
dium is convulsed, her hands contract, she groans 
and seems to be suffering. 

In order better to observe the matter in hand 
we gradually retired the experimenters from the 
table, having noticed that the chain of several 
persons was not at all necessary, either in this 
or in other phenomena. In the end we left only 
a single person besides the medium, and placed 
on her left. This person rested her feet on the 
two feet of Eusapia, and one of her hands on 




Fig. 24. From a Photograph or Complete Levitation of the 
Table by Eusapia. 



EXPERIMENTS WITH EUSAPIA 45 

the latter's knees. With her other hand she 
held the left hand of the medium, whose right 
lay on the table in full view of all, or was even 
lifted into the air during the levitation. 

Inasmuch as the table remained in the air for 
several seconds, it was possible to secure several 
photographs of the performance. 

A little before the levitation it was observed 
that the folds of the skirt of Eusapia were blown 
out on the left side so far as to touch the neigh- 
boring leg of the table. When one of us en- 
deavored to hinder this contact, the table was 
unable to rise as before, and was only enabled 
so to do when the observer purposely allowed the 
contact to occur. It will, be noticed that the hand 
of the medium was at the same time placed on 
the upper surface of the table on the same side, 
so that the leg of the table there was under her 
influence, as much in the lower portion by means 
of the skirt as in the superior portion through 
the avenue of the hand. No verification was 
made as to the degree of pressure exerted upon 
the table at that moment by the hand of the 
medium, nor were we able to find out, owing to 
the brevity of the levitation, what particular part 
was in contact with the garment, which seemed 
to move wholly in a lateral direction and to sup- 
port the weight of the table. 

In order to avoid this contact it was proposed 
to have the levitation take place while the me- 



46 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

dium and her coadjutors stood on their feet, but 
it did not succeed. It was also proposed to place 
the medium at one of the longer sides of the 
table. But she opposed this, saying that it was 
impossible. So we are obliged to declare that 
we did not succeed in obtaining a complete levi- 
tation of the table with all four of its legs abso- 
lutely free from any contact whatever, and there 
is reason to fear that a similar difficulty would 
have been met in the levitation of the two legs 
that stood on the side next the medium. 

4. Variations of Pressure exerted by the En- 
tire Body of the Medium seated upon a Balance. 
This experiment was very interesting, but very 
difficult to perform; for it will readily be un- 
derstood that every movement of the medium, 
whether voluntary or not, on the platform of the 
balance, could produce oscillations of the platform 
and hence of the lever, or beam. In order that the 
experiment might be conclusive, it was necessary 
that the beam of the balance, once it had taken 
a new position, should remain there for a few 
seconds to permit the measurement of the weight 
by means of the shifting of the weight on the 
beam. In the hope that this would work all right 
the attempt was made. The medium was seated 
in a chair on the balance, and the total weight 
was found to be 62 kilograms. After a few os- 
cillations there was a marked descent of the beam, 
lasting several seconds, and this permitted M. 



EXPERIMENTS WITH EUSAPIA 47 

Gerosa, who stood near the beam, to measure the 
weight immediately. It indicated a diminution 
of pressure equivalent to 10 kilograms. 

A wish having been expressed that the opposite 
result might be obtained, the extremity of the 
beam quickly rose, indicating this time a rise of 
10 kilograms. 

This experiment was repeated several times, 
and in five different seances. Once it gave no 
results, but the last time a registering apparatus 
enabled us to get two curves of the phenomenon. 
We tried to produce similar deflections ourselves, 
and succeeded only when many of us stood on 
our feet on the platform of the balance and rested 
our weight now on one of its sides and now on 
another, near the edge, with very vigorous move- 
ments, which, however, we never observed in the 
medium, and which, indeed, were impossible in 
her position on the chair. Nevertheless, recog- 
nizing that the experiment could not be regarded 
as absolutely satisfactory, we rounded it out with 
one that will be described in Chapter III of this 
book. 

In this experiment of the balance, also, it was 
noticed by some of us that success seemed to de- 
pend on contact of the garments of the medium 
with the floor upon which the balance was directly 
placed. The truth of this was established by a 
special experiment on the 9th of October. The 
medium having been seated on the balance, that 



48 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

one of our number who had taken upon himself 
to watch her feet soon saw the lower folds of her 
dress swelling out and projecting in such a way 
as to hang down from the platform of the balance. 
As long as the attempt was made to hinder this 
movement of the dress (which was certainly not 
produced by the feet of the medium), the levita- 
tion did not take place. But as soon as the lower 
extremity of the dress was allowed to touch the 
floor, repeated and very evident levitations took 
place, which were designated in very fine curves 
on the disc .that registered the variations of 
weight. 

5. The Apparition of Hands on a Background 
slightly Luminous. We placed upon the table a 
large cardboard smeared with phosphorescent 
material (sulphide of calcium) and placed other 
pieces of the same cardboard in other parts of 
the room. In this way we very clearly saw the 
dark silhouette of a hand projected on the card- 
board of the table, and upon the background 
formed by the other pieces we saw the black 
outline of the hand pass and repass around 
us. 

On the evening of September 21 one of us sev- 
eral times saw the apparent shadow, not of one, 
but of two hands, outlined against the feeble 
light of a window closed merely by panes of glass 
(outside it was night, but not completely dark). 
These hands were seen to be in rapid motion, 



EXPERIMENTS WITH EUSAPIA 49 

but not so much so as to hinder our seeing their 
outlines. They were completely opaque. These 
apparitions (of hands) cannot be explained as 
cunning tricks of the medium, who could not pos- 
sibly free more than one of her hands from con- 
trol. The same conclusion must be drawn as to 
the clapping of two hands, the one against the 
other, which was heard several times during our 
experiments. 

6. The Levitation of the Medium to the Top 
of the Table. Among the most important and 
significant of the occurrences we put this levita- 
tion. It took place twice, — that is to say, on the 
28th of September and the 3d of October. The 
medium, who was seated near one end of the 
table, was lifted up in her chair bodily, amid 
groans and lamentations on her part, and placed 
(still seated) on the table, then returned to the 
same position as before, with her hands contin- 
ually held, her movements being accompanied by 
the persons next her. 

On the evening of the 28th of September, while 
her hands were being held by MM. Richet and 
Lombroso, she complained of hands which were 
grasping her under the arms; then, while in 
trance, with the changed voice characteristic of 
this state, she said, " Now I lift my medium up 
on the table." After two or three seconds the 
chair with Eusapia in it was not violently dashed, 
but lifted without hitting anything, on to the top 



50 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

of the table, and M. Richet and I are sure that 
we did not even assist the levitation by our own 
force. After some talk in the trance state the 
medium announced her descent, and (M. Finzi 
having been substituted for me) was deposited 
on the floor with the same security and pre- 
cision, while MM. Richet and Finzi followed the 
movements of her hands and body without at 
all assisting them, and kept asking each other 
questions about the position of the hands. 

Moreover, during the descent both gentlemen 
repeatedly felt a hand touch them on the head. 

On the evening of October 3 the thing was 
repeated in quite similar circumstances, MM. 
Du Prel and Finzi being one on each side of 
Eusapia. 

7. Touchings. Some of these are worthy of 
being chronicled with some detail on account of 
certain circumstances capable of yielding inter- 
esting bits of information as to their probable 
origin; and first of all should be noticed those 
touchings felt by persons beyond the reach of the 
hands of the medium. Thus, on the evening of 
October 6, M. Gerosa, who was at a distance 
from the medium of three places (about four feet, 
the medium being at one short end of the table 
and M. Gerosa at one of the adjacent corners 
of the opposite end), having lifted his hand to 
be touched, several times felt a hand strike his 
to lower it; and he, persisting, was struck with 



EXPERIMENTS WITH EUSAPIA 51 

a trumpet, which a little before had been sounded 
here and there in the air. 

In the second place should be noted touchings 
that constitute delicate operations impossible to 
be performed in the dark with that precision 
which was observed in them by us. 

Twice (September 16 and 21) Signor Schia- 
parelli's spectacles were removed and placed on 
the table before another person. These specta- 
cles are fastened to the ears by means of two 
elastic spiral springs, and it will be readily un- 
derstood that a certain amount of attention is 
requisite in order to remove them, even in broad 
daylight. Yet they were removed in complete 
darkness with such delicacy and deftness that their 
owner had to touch his temples with his hand in 
order to assure himself that they were no longer 
in place. 

In all of the extremely numerous manoeuvres 
executed by mysterious hands there was never 
noted any blunder or collision such as is ordi- 
narily inevitable when one is operating in the 
dark; and the darkness was in most of our ex- 
periments, with one or two exceptions already 
indicated, as complete as it could possibly be. 

It may be added in this connection that bodies 
quite heavy and bulky, such as chairs and ves- 
sels full of clay, were placed upon the table with- 
out encountering any one of the numerous hands 
resting upon it, — a matter which was especially 



52 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

difficult in the case of chairs that would cover a 
large part of the table's surface owing to their 
size. A chair was once even turned down on the 
table and placed longitudinally without annoy- 
ance to any one, although it occupied nearly the 
whole top of the table. 

8. Contacts with a Human Face. One of us, 
having expressed a desire to be kissed, felt the 
contact of two lips. This happened twice, Sep- 
tember 21 and October i. On three separate oc- 
casions it happened to one of those who were 
present to touch a human face with hair and 
beard, and the touch of the skin was undeniably 
that of a living man's face. The hair was much 
coarser and ranker in growth than the medium's, 
but the beard seemed very soft and fine. 

g. Sound of a Trumpet. On the evening of 
October 3, a trumpet having been placed behind 
the medium and behind the curtain, all at once 
we heard it sound several notes. Those who 
were near Eusapia were in a situation to assure 
themselves with the greatest certainty that the 
sound did not come from her direction. 

10. Other Instances of " Apports." One of us, 
at the beginning of the seance, had laid his over- 
coat on a chair beyond the reach of the medium. 
At the close it was seen that several different 
objects had been brought and laid on a phos- 
phorescent cardboard that was on the table. The 
owner of these articles recognized them at once 



EXPERIMENTS WITH EUSAPIA 53 

as having been in an inside pocket of his over- 
coat. Hereupon the medium began to lament 
and make signs of displeasure, complaining of 
something that had been put about her neck and 
was binding her tight. We produced light and 
found that the overcoat was not in the place where 
it had been originally laid, and then, giving our 
attention to the medium, discovered that she had 
on the overcoat in question, her arms being slipped 
into it, one in each sleeve. During the sitting her 
hands and feet had been always controlled in the 
usual way by the two who sat next her. 

II. Phenomena hitherto observed in the Dark now at length 

OBTAINED IN THE LlGHT, WITH THE MEDIUM IN SlGHT 

In order to attain complete conviction, it re- 
mained for us to attempt to secure important phe- 
nomena in the light. But, as darkness is very 
favorable to their production, we proceeded, in 
the sitting of October 6, as follows: In order 
that one part of the room might be left in dark- 
ness, it was separated from the rest by a curtain 
(divided in the middle), and a chair was placed 
for the medium before the aperture in the cur- 
tain. Her back was in the dark part, while her 
arms, hands, face, and feet were in the illumi- 
nated portion. Behind the curtain were placed a 
little chair and a small bell, about a foot and a 
half from Eusapia, and upon another more dis- 
tant chair was placed a vessel full of moist clay. 



54 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

In the illuminated part of the room we formed 
a circle around the table, which was placed before 
the medium. The room was lighted by a lantern 
with red glass sides. 

Presently the phenomena began. We saw the 
inflated curtain blowing out toward us. Those 
who sat near the medium, on opposing their hands 
to the curtain, felt resistance. The chair of one 
of them was vigorously pulled, then five stout 
blows were struck on it, which signified " less 
light." We thereupon softened the light of the 
red lantern with a shade; but a little afterward 
we were able to remove the shade, and instead 
the lantern was set on our table in front of the 
medium. The edges (lembi) of the curtain 
where it was divided were fastened to the cor- 
ners of the table, and, at the request of Eusapia, 
the upper parts were also folded back above her 
head and fastened with pins. 

Then above the head of the medium something 
began to appear and disappear. M. AksakofT 
rose, put his hand in the aperture of the curtain 
above the head of the medium, and announced 
that fingers had touched him several times ; next, 
his hand was grasped through the curtain ; finally, 
he felt something thrust into his hand. It was 
the little chair; he held it firmly; then the chair 
was snatched away from him and fell to the floor. 
All present put their hands through the curtain 
and felt the contact of hands. In the dark back- 



EXPERIMENTS WITH EUSAPIA 55 

ground of the aperture itself, above the head of 
the medium, the usual firefly-like bluish gleams 
appeared several times. M. Schiaparelli was 
forcibly struck through the curtain both on the 
back and side. His head was covered by the 
curtain and drawn into the dark part, while he 
with his left hand kept holding all the time the 
right of the medium, and with his right the left 
hand of M. Finzi. In this position he felt him- 
self touched by the warm bare fingers of a hand, 
saw the light-gleams describing curves in the air 
and lighting up a little the hand and the body 
which was carrying them. Then he took his seat 
again ; whereupon a hand began to appear in the 
aperture without being withdrawn so suddenly 
and in a more distinct way. M. Du Prel, with- 
out letting go of the hand of the medium, put 
his head into the aperture above her head and 
received some hard blows from several quarters 
and by more than one finger. The hand still 
showed itself between the two heads. 

Du Prel resumed his place, and M. Aksakoff 
held a pencil up to the opening. It was grasped 
by the hand and did not fall to the floor. In a 
little while it was flung through the aperture 
onto the table. Once a closed fist appeared on 
the head of the medium. It opened slowly and 
showed the hand open, with the fingers spread 
apart. 

It is impossible to state the number of times 



56 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

that this hand appeared and was touched by us. 
Suffice it to say that no doubt was any longer 
possible. It was actually a living human hand 
that we saw and touched, while at the same time 
the entire bust and the arms of the medium re- 
mained in sight and her hands were continuously 
held by her neighbors on each side. 

When the sitting was over, Du Prel passed first 
into the darkened part of the room and called 
out to us that there was an imprint in the clay. 
In fact, We ascertained that this had been dis- 
figured by the deep print of five fingers, which 
explains the fact that toward the end of the 
seance a piece of clay had been thrown upon the 
table through the aperture in the curtain. The 
imprint of the hand was a permanent proof that 
we had not been under an hallucination. 

These things were repeated several times in 
the same way or under a form a little different 
on the evenings of the 9th, 13th, 15th, 17th, and 
1 8th of October. Although the position of the 
mysterious hand would not permit us to assume 
that it belonged to the medium, nevertheless, for 
greater security, on the evening of the 15th an 
elastic rubber band was applied to her left hand 
and wound around each finger separately, and 
thus allowed one to distinguish at any moment 
which of the two hands each neighboring sitter 
had in custody. The apparitions took place just 
the same, as they also did on the evening of the 



EXPERIMENTS WITH EUSAPIA 57 

17th, and finally on the 18th, although with less 
intensity, under the rigorous control (solemnly 
attested by them) of MM. Richet and Schia- 
parelli, each of whom gave special attention to 
this part of the investigation. 

One evening, in full light, Schiaparelli brought 
a block of new writing-paper and asked Eusapia 
to write her name. She grasped his finger and 
moved it over the paper as if it were a pen. She 
then said, " I have written." But we could find 
no trace of writing, and she showed us that the 
writing was there, but in the inside of the tablet, 
or block of pages. In a second trial the signa- 
ture was visible on the stick that held up the 
window curtain at a height of more than two 
metres at least, and nearly four from the table. 

In a last trial the name was found to be badly 
written on the next to the last page of the tablet 
of paper, and yet the leaves had not been turned 
over nor the tablet lifted up. 

And now let us glean the most interesting 
cases from the memoirs of the most eminent 
experimenters. 

At Naples, in 1895, with my eminent associates 
Bianchi, Tamburini, Vizioli, and Ascensi, I again 
tried these experiments in a room in our inn 
chosen expressly for the purpose. And here, in 
full light, we saw a great curtain which sepa- 
rated our room from an alcove adjoining (and 



58 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

which was more than three feet distant from 
the medium) suddenly move out toward me, en- 
velop me, and wrap me close. Nor was I able 
to free myself from it except with great diffi- 
culty. A dish of flour had been put in the little 
alcove room, at a distance of more than four and 
a half feet from the medium, who, in her trance, 
had thought, or at any rate spoken, of sprink- 
ling some of the flour in our faces. When light 
was made, it was found that the dish was bottom 
side up with the flour under it. This was dry, 
to be sure, but coagulated like gelatine. This 
circumstance seems to me doubly irreconcilable, 
— first, with the laws of chemistry, and, second, 
with the power of movement of the medium, who 
had not only been bound as to her feet, but had 
her hands held tight by our hands. When the 
lights had been turned on, and we were all ready 
to go, a great wardrobe that stood in the alcove 
room, about six and a half feet away from us, 
was seen advancing slowly toward us. It seemed 
like a huge pachyderm that was proceeding in 
leisurely fashion to attack us, and looked as if 
pushed forward by some one. 

In other successive experiments made in full 
light with Professor Vizioli and with De Amicis, 
having asked Eusapia (whose feet and hands 
were tightly bound and held by us) to have her 
" John " move a little bell that had been placed 
on the floor about a foot and a half from her, we 



EXPERIMENTS WITH EUSAPIA 59 

more than once saw her skirts extend themselves 
to a point, as if forming a third foot or like a 
swelled up arm. When I grasped this arm, it 
presented a slight resistance to me, as if it were a 
bladder filled with gas. And this immaterial arm 
(shall we call it?) finally, in full light, under our 
very eyes, all of a sudden seized the bell and 
rang it ! 

I shall now present some of the experiments 
tried at Milan and Genoa before the Society for 
Psychical Studies by Morselli (1906-1907), Mar- 
zovati, and myself, and described by Barzini in 
his Mondo dei Misteri (1907). 

The medium (Eusapia) frequently performed 
experiments suggested by the caprice of those 
present (see Barzini). One evening we asked 
her to produce on our table a trumpet then on 
a chair in the corner of the inner cabinet; and, 
while we were looking at Eusapia sitting there 
motionless, we heard the little trumpet fall to 
the floor, and then for several minutes we heard 
it moving lightly along, as if a hand were graz- 
ing it without being able to grasp it. One of 
the experimenters held out the interrupters (or 
cut-offs) of the electric light intrusted to him 
toward the cabinet, about six feet from Eusapia, 
and said, " Take them ! " They were at once 
taken out of his hand, and several metres of the 
cord to which the cut-offs were attached slipped 
through his fingers. He pulled the cord to him 



60 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

forcibly and felt an elastic but strong resistance. 
After a brief and gentle pull he exclaimed, " Turn 
on the light ! " and one of the lamps was lighted. 

These events sometimes occur so rapidly as to 
take one by surprise and leave in one's mind a 
very legitimate doubt as to their nature ; but very 
frequently they are slow and labored, and reveal 
an intense and concentrated energy. 

During the seance Professor Morselli felt his 
right arm grasped by a huge hand, the position 
of the fingers of which he could accurately dis- 
tinguish. At the same time Eusapia cried out, 
" See! " and the green lamp was lighted and 
again extinguished. Now, the cut-off of this 
green lamp, attached to a long cord that hung 
from the ceiling, was all the while in the pocket 
of Professor Morselli, who had not perceived the 
entrance of a hand there. 

We all observed that the lamp was lighted and 
extinguished without the click of the cut-off being 
heard. While we were talking, as if to confirm 
our impression the lamp set to work lighting 
itself and extinguishing itself in the same silent 
manner as before. 

We ought not to forget one thing: the light- 
ing and extinguishing of the lamp corresponded 
to a slight movement of the index finger of Eusa- 
pia in the hollow of my hand. This synchrony 
between the phenomena and the movements of 
the medium occurred almost always in our ex- 



EXPERIMENTS WITH EUSAPIA 61 

periments, and it is noteworthy that in these cases 
the active force of the medium proceeds from the 
side opposite to that on which the phenomenon 
is verified as having taken place. For instance, 
if the right fist of Eusapia is contracted, the per- 
son on her left will probably feel the touch of 
a hand, and is often able to recognize that it is 
a right hand. There is here a most singular criss- 
cross, an inversion which it may be important to 
authenticate, in default of anything better. 

A big table weighing about 24^ pounds, situ- 
ated in the empty recess in front of the window, 
and upon which some one had laid boxes of 
photographic glass plates and a metronome be- 
longing to Professor Morselli, moved forward to 
us, then retired. The metronome got into action 
and began its regular tic-tac. After a while the 
apparatus is closed, then resumes its action, then 
is closed again. Now, to set a metronome in 
operation and stop it is not a difficult nor a long 
piece of work, but it is minute, and, above all, is 
not an operation that metronomes are in the habit 
of doing of themselves. 

Frequently the objects that arrive on the table 
of the medium are accompanied by the black cur- 
tain in such a way that it is exactly as if they 
were brought by persons hidden in the cabinet 
and who put the curtain between the objects and 
their hands. In another seance we saw the dy- 
namometer, which was almost in contact with 



62 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

the edge of the curtain, come up on the table, 
move about, and disappear behind the curtain. 
We do not hear the light noise that would have 
been made in laying it up somewhere, and we 
remark among ourselves that one could think it 
were being held by some person. Whereupon, 
lo and behold ! out of the cabinet, above the head 
of the medium, there steals forth a hand, holding 
the dynamometer as if it were showing it to us. 
Then the hand disappears, and after some min- 
utes the dynamometer reappears on the table. 
The pointer marks a pressure of no kilograms. 
It is the pressure that would be exerted by a 
very robust man. 

There can be no doubt but that the thought 
of the participants in a seance exercises a certain 
influence upon phenomena. It seems as if our 
discussions were listened to in order to get from 
them a suggestion for the execution of the vari- 
ous performances. We have only to speak of 
the levitation of the table, and the table rises. 
If we rap rhythmically on its upper surface, 
the raps are exactly reproduced, and often in the 
same spot apparently. We begin to speak of the 
luminous appearances which have sometimes been 
exhibited in Eusapia's sittings, and which we 
have not yet seen in this sitting, when, suddenly, 
behold! a light appears on the knees of the me- 
dium, disappears, and then again shows itself, 
this time on her head, descends along her left 



EXPERIMENTS WITH EUSAPIA 63 

side, becomes more intense, and finally disappears 
when it reaches the hip. 

In continuation, Professor Morselli gives no- 
tice that he has discovered some person behind 
the curtain, feels its body resting against him, 
and we see its arms enveloped in the curtain. 
Unexpectedly, Barzini pokes his head into the 
opening of the curtain in order to look into the 
cabinet. It is empty. The curtain is swelled out 
and its voluminous folds are empty. That which 
on one side seems to be the form of a human 
body in relief, on the other appears as a carita 
in the stuff, — a moulage, or mould. One recalls 
the " homo invisibile " of Wells. 

Barzini touches with his right hand, which is 
free, the swelling of the curtain on the outside 
face, and positively encounters under the stuff the 
resistance of a living head. He identifies the 
forehead, feeling the cheeks and the nose with 
the palm of his hand; and, when he touches the 
lips, the mouth of the thing opens and seizes his 
hand under the thumb. He feels distinctly the 
pressure of a sound set of teeth. 

The carillon (or music-box), intended to make 
a little diversion, comes upon the table as if it 
had fallen from above, and, resting there entirely 
isolated, plays for several seconds, while we look 
curiously on. In shape it is like a small coffee- 
grinder. Being so simple and so slightly musical, 
this instrument requires, in order to be played, 



64 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

the co-operation of the two hands, — one to hold 
it firm, and the other to turn the crank. Its glu- 
glu has scarcely ceased when we hear the mando- 
lin sliding along over the floor. M. Bozzano sees 
it come out from the cabinet and stop behind Pro- 
fessor Morselli, where it strums two or three 
times. Thence it climbs up on the table, turns 
upside down, and ends by depositing itself in the 
arms of Barzini like a baby! As we placed our 
hands on the strings, we felt them vibrating under 
the touch of the unknown force, and thus also 
acquired the proof of touch as to the reality of 
the phenomena. 

We observe that the movement of the mando- 
lin, as of all the objects transported, has a kind 
of orientation. In other words, the objects never 
move in a circle: they are subject to transfer- 
ence, but not to revolution. They move precisely 
as if they were held by a hand, — advance and 
retreat, move to the right or to the left, but keep- 
ing one and the same relative position. 

The mandolin always has the handle turned 
toward the medium. The chairs which take their 
curious walks and climb up on the table always 
look as if they were being dragged along by the 
back. Professor Morselli brought with him a 
little cord about sixteen inches long, and at a 
given moment put it on the table. It disappeared 
and then returned, wiggling and squirming like 
a dog's tail. When he expressed the wish to 



EXPERIMENTS WITH EUSAPIA 65 

have knots tied in it, immediately it disappeared 
into the cabinet and soon after returned knotted 
in three places. These knots were equal, large, 
well made, symmetrical, and equidistant. 

In a fifth sitting, in which Morselli had care- 
fully tied Eusapia to a cot-bed, he was obliged 
to testify, after every instance of apparition, 
that she had been untied or tied in a different 
manner. 

Spectral Appearances and Materializations 

During the first five or six years of her public 
career as a medium Eusapia devoted herself more 
to phenomena of movement — to self-moving ob- 
jects of furniture and to apports — than to spec- 
tral appearances. After the first years spectral 
hands began to be seen (sometimes joined to 
arms of various size), and, more rarely, feet. 
In the last few years these phantasms of arms 
and hands appear more frequently in the middle 
and at the end of the seance. Sometimes they 
accompanied translocation of chairs and mando- 
lins, etc. Sometimes they appeared solely for 
the purpose of showing themselves — frequently 
being pale, diaphanous, of a pearly tint. 

Bottazzi (Nelle Regioni inesplorate della Bio- 
logia, 1907) multiplied observations of this kind. 
For instance, he saw a black fist come clear out 
in front of the left-hand curtain and approach 
a lady, who felt herself touched on the back of 

5 



66 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

the neck and on the knees. On another occasion 
a natural hand, the warmth and solid nature of 
which were felt, was placed on his arm, and then 
re-entered the body of Madame Paladino, as if 
it were a case of phantasmal prolongation. In- 
deed, Galeotto once distinctly saw emerge from 
the left side of Eusapia two identically similar 
arms, — one (the true one) held by the control- 
ler, and another spectral (or " fluidic "), that 
detached itself from her shoulder, touched the 
hand of the controller, and then returned to 
merge itself in the body of Eusapia. 

These " fluidic " arms are the ones with which 
the mediums move objects from eight to twelve 
inches farther than the extremity of their own 
proper limbs; furthermore, the thrusts given by 
them frequently produce pain just as if they were 
the true arms. 

Sometimes, in good seances, these phantom 
limbs are somewhat prolonged, but not farther 
than four and a half feet from the table. 

At the end of Eusapia's seances, especially the 
more successful ones, true spectral appearances 
occurred, though much more rarely. Among the 
more important of these, inasmuch as it was seen 
by many and was repeated, I note not only the 
apparition of the deceased son of Vassallo, 1 but 
also the one first confessed to me personally by 
Morselli (however put in doubt afterwards) of 

1 See Vassallo, Nel Moncfo degli Invisibili, 1902. 



EXPERIMENTS WITH EUSAPIA 67 

his mother, who kissed him, dried his eyes, said 
certain words to him, then again appeared to him, 
caressed him, and, to prove her personal identity, 
lifted his hand and placed it on the right eyebrow 
of the medium (" It is not there," said Morselli), 
and then placed it on her own forehead, on which, 
near the eyebrow, was a little blemish. Morselli 
was seated at the right of Eusapia, while on the 
other side was Porro (see the figure). 



PORRO. 



SlGNORA MORANI. 





Eusapia. 


Morselli. | 




Mirelli. | 




Vassallo. 1 


i 


MORANI. 1 





I Doctor Vengi. 



Fig. 25. Diagram of Table and Sitters. 

I myself had the opportunity of examining a 
similar apparition in Genoa in 1903. The me- 
dium (Eusapia) was in a state of semi-intoxica- 
tion, so that I should have thought that nothing 
would be forthcoming for us. On being asked 
by me, before the seance opened, if she would 
cause a glass inkstand to move in full light, she 
replied, in that vulgar speech of hers, " And what 
makes you obstinately stuck on such trifles as 
that? I can do much more: I can cause you to 



68 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

see your mother. You ought to be thinking of 
that." 

Prompted by that promise, after half an hour 
of the seance had passed by, I was seized with a 
very lively desire to see her promise kept. The 
table at once assented to my thought by means 
of its usual sign-movements up and down; and 
soon after (we were then in the semi-obscurity of 
a red light) I saw detach itself from the curtain 
a rather short figure like that of my mother, 1 
veiled, which made the complete circuit of the table 
until it came to me, and whispered to me words 
heard by many, but not by me, who am some- 
what hard of hearing. I was almost beside my- 
self with emotion and begged, her to repeat her 
words. She did so, saying, "Cesar, Ho miol" 
(I admit at once that this was not her habitual 
expression, which was, when she met me, " mio 
Hoi " ; but the mistakes in expression made by 
the apparitions of the deceased are well known, 
and how they borrow from the language of the 
psychic and of the experimenters), and, removing 
the veil from her face for a moment, she gave 
me a kiss. 

After that day the shade of my mother (alas! 
only too truly a shadow) reappeared at least 
twenty times during Eusapia's seances while the 

1 At that moment Eusapia was certainly held by the hand by two per- 
sons, and her height is at least four inches greater than that of my poor 
mother, of whose appearance she had not the faintest idea. 



EXPERIMENTS WITH EUSAPIA 69 

medium was in trance; but her form was en- 
veloped in the curtain of the psychic's cabinet, 
her head barely appearing while she would say, 
" My son, my treasure," kissing my head and 
my lips with her lips, which seemed to me dry 
and ligneous like her tongue. 

One of the most typical and strange instances 1 
is that which happened to Massaro, of Palermo, 
in the seance of November 26, 1906, at Milan. 
Some time previously, having evoked at a turn- 
ing-table the spirit of the son recently deceased, 
he had received from him the promise of a ma- 
terialization at Milan. Having got a hint of the 
seances of Eusapia, he decided to be present. 

At the sitting of the 26th, Morselli having taken 
a place in the chain, Madame Paladino remarked 
quite suddenly that she perceived a young man 
who came from a distance, and, after being 
questioned, specified " from Palermo " ; and 
afterwards said, " Portrait made in the sun." 
Whereupon Massaro remembered that he had 
in his letter-case a photograph of his son taken 
out of doors (in the country). At the same 
time he was aware of being sharply tapped on 
the breast at the very spot where he had that 
picture of his son, and felt himself kissed twice 
on the right cheek through the curtain that hung 
near him; and the kisses were followed by very 

1 From the volume entitled / Fenomeni Medianici, by Francesco 
Facchini Luraghi, Milan, 1902. 



70 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

arch caresses, though most delicate withal. Then 
all of a sudden the significant touches were re- 
peated, but this time by a hand that insinuated 
itself with eager movements into the inside pocket 
of the coat just where the letter-case was. This 
it opened just at the compartment that held the 
portrait. During this second appearance caresses 
and kisses were held back at first; then he felt 
himself seized around the body, drawn near the 
curtain, and repeatedly kissed. Finally there was 
projected on the curtain the apparition of a head 
bound with a white bandage, — a head which he 
recognized as that of his son. 

A few months before he died, Chiaja presented 
me with some bas-reliefs obtained (all of them) 
from Eusapia when in a state of trance by plac- 
ing clay wrapped in a thin fold of linen on a 
piece of wood in a box, and this covered with 
a board securely weighted down by a heavy stone. 
Upon this the medium placed her hand, and 
after she had entered into the trance state cried 
out, " It is done ! " The box was opened and 
there was found the hollow print either of the 
hand or the face of a being whose facial ex- 
pression was mingled of life and death. I was 
not present at these sittings. But the testimony 
of Chiaja (a man of honorable memory) and that 
of an illustrious Neapolitan sculptor who took the 
reliefs from the moulds or imprints (Figs. 26 to 
29) is my firm guaranty as to the transaction; as 




Fig. 26. Mediumistic Sculptures — that to the Left by John King 
(Eusapia), and that to the Right by Nicolo R., 1905. 



EXPERIMENTS WITH EUSAPIA 71 

is also the opinion of Bistolfi, according to whom, 
in order to obtain in a few minutes those touches 
which, seen near at hand, are meaningless, but 
which from a distance assume a terrible and posi- 
tively death-life expression, repeated trials would 
be necessary, and we should have to grant to the 
medium an extraordinary artistic ability, whereas 
she is without the very first elements of the art. 
Let us add that, since the clay is covered with 
a thin veil, the warp and woof of which can still 
be made out in the imprint, even a veteran artist 
could not succeed by mere pressure, and, as Boz- 
zano notes, the hand would have to leave, not 
an imprint proper, but a vague channelling. 

The bona fide nature of these occurrences is 
also proved' to me from their having been re- 
peated under the eyes of Bozzano at meetings 
of the Circolo Scientifico Minerva of Genoa, in 
1901-1902, and in France under the control of 
Flammarion at Monfort l'Amaury, who repro- 
duces a remarkable death-like mask, the very 
image of Eusapia. 1 The same phenomena have 
been produced under my own eyes in Milan and 
Turin. 

1 [See p. 76 of Flammarion's Mysterious Psychic Forces (Small, May- 
nard & Co., Boston, 1907).] 



CHAPTER III 

Experiments with Accurate Scientific 
Instruments 

But the great mediumistic problem cannot be 
solved without the assistance of those accurate 
instruments by the use of which we are saved 
from every possible error of judgment. Crookes 
long ago noted, in the case of Florence Cook, that 
with appearance of the phantasm she lost almost 
the half of her weight. The same thing is true 
of Miss Fairland, who by the formation of a 
phantasm diminished her weight by sixty pounds, 
— the full half of her normal weight. Mor- 
selli noted a diminution of weight in Eusapia, 
after the trance state, amounting to 2200 grams. 
Arsonval at Torigio remarked that at the moment 
of the levitation of the table Eusapia's weight 
was augmented by the weight of the table. Eusa- 
pia, like Home, can vary the weight of her body 
both downward and upward (i. e. in less and in 
greater degree), first from 62 to 52 kilograms 
and then rising to J2 kilograms. She can effect 
the same result in the case of an object placed 
upon the balance, although at least the hem of 









IP ■'-'"■ 




1 


Wk 






*■■■-■■ 


^W|(fe*^a-..c-;i5> 





Fig. 27. Plaster Cast of Impression in Clay of Medium's Foot. 




Fig. 28. Bas-relief of her Face Executed by Eusapia (Chiaja). 



EXPERIMENTS WITH INSTRUMENTS 73 

her draperies or her dress must touch the foot 
of the weighing-machine (bascule). 

In our experiments with Eusapia we obtained 
similar results. Having placed two Regnier dy- 
namometers on the table at a distance of three 
feet from the medium, — asking her to exert the 
greatest pressure she could, — we saw the indi- 
cator go to 42 kilograms, and this of itself, in 
full light and during one and the same manipu- 
lation. But when she is out of the trance state 
Eusapia has never before been able to reach 
more than 36. During the performance she as- 
serted that she saw her " John " pressing in his 
two hands the instrument which she in her igno- 
rance called " the thermometer." And she kept 
writhing her hands, held tight by us, and trying 
to turn them toward the dynamometer. While 
this was going on, I observed that the pupil of her 
eye contracted and her breathing grew deeper 
even to the point of dyspnoea. 

In February, 1907, we placed in the mediumistic 
cabinet a Marey cardiograph (see Fig. 30) at a 
distance of three feet from the psychic, who had 
her back turned to it and her hands controlled 
by two of the experimenters. The cardiograph 
was connected with a pen running upon a cylin- 
der smoked with lampblack. The connection was 
made by a tube traversing the walls of the cabi- 
net. The writing pen was located 51 centimetres 
from the left lateral wall of the cabinet and about 



74 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

a metre and a half from the medium. Every- 
thing being ready, we begged " John " to press 
the button of the cardiograph. 

After a few minutes we hear the noise of the 
pen running over the cylinder, which being re- 




Fig. 31. Cardiography Tracings by "John" (A is the Time in 
Seconds on the Desprez Register). 

volved gives us two groups of curves that rapidly 
decrease (see Fig. 31). One part of the second 
group is intertwined with the first because we 
were not able in the darkness to remove the 
cylinder in time. The first group corresponds to 
about 23 seconds and the other to about 18 
seconds. These tracings indicate either a prone- 



EXPERIMENTS WITH INSTRUMENTS 75 

ness to exhaustion or else weak volitional energy. 
To comprehend this, see the tracings (Fig. 32) 
made by one of us for one second pressing uni- 
formly and rhythmically on the button of the 
cylindrical cardiograph. 

The psychic, who in the normal state does not 
exercise any influence at a distance on the elec- 
troscope, one evening when she had just been 
awakened from a profound trance was placed by 




Fig. 32. Cardiography Tracing by Experimenter. 

Dr. Imoda with her hands suspended ten centi- 
metres above the electroscope. For two minutes 
nothing happened. Then of a sudden began the 
drooping of the pieces of gold leaf, which after 
four minutes fell rapidly. This is something that, 
correlated with the impression made by the me- 
dium on photographic plates wrapped up in dark 
paper, confirms the fact of her radio-activity in 
the trance state, and harmonizes with the fre- 
quent appearance of white fluctuating clouds 



76 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

similar to the luminous vapor on the upper sur- 
face of the table during the seances, — it being 
a property of the cathode rays to determine the 
formation of vapor when they pass through air 
saturated with humidity. 

And now we come to the experiments of Foa 




Fig. 33. Apparatus for Registering Movements of the Medium. 
Rotating Cylinder under Bell-glass. 



and Herlitzka and Bottazzi (Rivista d' Italia, 
1907). 

Drs. Foa and Herlitzka thus write: 
In order to register objectively the movements 
that the medium has the power of producing, 
we have constructed (see Fig. 33) a rotating 
cylinder (f) around a vertical axis. The cylin- 
der completes one entire revolution in six hours. 
Around the cylinder is wrapped a sheet of white 
paper covered with a layer of lampblack. Upon 
this black surface a fixed point moves, removing 



EXPERIMENTS WITH INSTRUMENTS 77 

the lampblack, and through the movement of the 
cylinder marking on the paper a white horizontal 
line. If the pointer moves from above down- 
ward, it designs on the paper a delicate vertical 
line. The pointer could be put in motion by a 
small electro-magnet (e), the Desprez register 
united to an accumulator and a telegraphic key. 
The rotating cylinder and the Desprez register 
are placed under a bell-glass, which is set on a 
stout plank (B). The bell-glass, the lower rim 
of which is stout and thick, was fixed upon the 
plank by means of a narrow band passing 
through three eye-holes formed of little ribbons 
sealed with sealing-wax to the board. The rim 
of the bell-glass served as a hold, or stop, for 
the band. 

Through three holes made in the thickness of 
the wooden plank, the conducting wires pro- 
ceeding from the registering apparatus issued 
from beneath the bell-glass only to be immedi- 
ately encased in glass tubes which hindered the 
wilful or casual contact of the wires with each 
other and the consequent breaking of the electric 
circuit. Of the wires, one went to the accu- 
mulator (J), the other directly to the tele- 
graphic key, from which next in order a third 
wire, insulated in a glass tube, went to the other 
pole of the accumulator. All parts of the wire 
that could not be insulated by glass, at the bind- 
ing-wires of the accumulator, were wrapped with 



78 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

insulating ribbon and covered with a ribbon band 
(fettucia) sealed with our seal. Finally, the tele- 
graphic key itself was enclosed in a cardboard 
box (c) nailed to the plank, and shut by means 
of two bands placed crosswise and sealed 1 . Two 
little holes in the box gave passage to two glass 
tubes containing the conducting wires. 

Accumulator and key were fixed upon the same 
plank as the cylinder. Thus it was impossible 
to make a mark upon the cylinder except when 
the key was pressed down. 

Besides this registering mechanism, we pre- 
pared some sheets of lampblacked paper in order 
later to secure imprints; some photographic 
plates carefully folded in black paper for the 
purpose of putting in evidence eventual radia- 
tions that should penetrate through the opaque 
media; and, lastly, a dynamometer. 

We were able to prepare experiments with 
assured objective results. 

The medium told us that she could have moved 
the key of our apparatus without breaking the 
protecting structure if this had been of cloth in- 
stead of cardboard. So, for the second sitting, 
we modified our apparatus, and in order not only 
to register the movements taking place, but also 
to measure their intensity, we abandoned elec- 
tric registration, substituting for it the mano- 
metric method. 

For this purpose (see Fig. 34) we connected, 



EXPERIMENTS WITH INSTRUMENTS 



79 



by means of a glass rod, a vessel (a) full of 
water (and furnished with a tube aperture (b) 
near the bottom) to a U-shaped manometer (c) 
containing mercury. The top opening of the 
vessel was covered by a strong india-rubber cloth 
(d) tightly bound to the receptacle itself. 

In this way we had an enclosed space full of 
liquid, at the farther extremity of which was in- 
serted the manometer. And since upon the mer- 




Fig. 34. Experiment with the Manometer (to measure Movements 
and their intensity). 

cury floated a little rod furnished with a point 
(e) which made tracings on the rotating cylin- 
der (/), every pressure was registered and meas- 
ured in an objective document. 

Experience had taught us the uselessness of 
sealing the bell-glass, so we gave that up. But 
instead we took the cylinder and the manometer 
out of the medium's cabinet and placed them in 
a visible and controllable position throughout the 
seance. In the cabinet we placed only the glass 



80 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

receptacle for water, upon the rubber cloth of 
which the power of the medium was to be tested. 
This water vessel stood in a wooden box (g) 
over the top of which a cloth was stretched and 
nailed. The rubber cloth itself was covered with 
a layer of lampblack. 

But even our precaution of covering the ap- 
paratus with cloth was to be shown up only too 
well as being of no service whatever, for at a 
certain moment the cloth was heard to tear. 

In the presence of a phantom form one of us 
(F.) held a photographic plate, wrapped in paper, 
above the head of Eusapia and felt the plate seized 
by a hand covered with the curtain. M. Foa 
grasped it with his own hand, but that of the 
phantasm slipped from his and struck him. The 
plate is changed, and the invisible hand begins 
another contest, during which it holds the plate 
fast for several seconds. At last an unexpected 
blow given to the plate makes it fall on the little 
seance table, though without breaking it. 

In continuation of the game, Dr. Arullani goes 
up to the little table No. i. But it advances 
briskly against him and pushes him back. The 
doctor grabs it, and a contest ensues. During 
the contest the table is heard to crack. The table 
in question is strong and made of whitewood; 
height, 80 centimetres; length, 90; width, 55; 
weight, 7.80 kilograms. 

Dr. Arullani calls for a pressure of the hand 



EXPERIMENTS WITH INSTRUMENTS 81 

from the curtain, and the medium replies with 
the voice, " I will first break in pieces the table 
and then shake hands. " Hereupon three new 
complete levitations of the table take place, and 
each time it falls back heavily on the floor, and 
later goes into the cabinet, all the time smashing 
itself up, then comes out with violent movement, 
thrashing around before everybody, and, its joints 
all apart, is finally broken to pieces, even the 
separate boards being broken up. Two of the 
legs, still united by a small strip of wood, hang 
poised in the air for a moment above us and then 
descend upon the little seance table. 

The co-experimenters of Professor Mosso thus 
sum up the objective phenomena established and 
authenticated by them: 

i . The registration of our apparatus took place 
while the rotating cylinder was outside of the 
seance cabinet in such a way that no one could 
approach it without being seen, while at the same 
time the transmitting apparatus was in a wooden 
box higher than the elastic cloth, or membrane, 
and entirely visible. One of us felt, simultane- 
ously with the taps on the membrane, the pres- 
sure of the right hand of the medium in his left, 
during which time also the other hand of Madame 
Paladino was in that of Professor Foa. 

The apparatus stood on the left of Dr. Her- 
litzka, whose left hand held the right hand of the 

6 



82 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

medium, while her right was held by the one 
who sat next. 

2. The stout table went all to pieces before the 
eyes of all of us, untouched by any one ; the nails 
were pulled out and the joints and separate boards 
smashed. The breaking up took place, as has 
been said, on one side of the medium and also 
in front, to the left, in the midst of many of the 
company, and in a good state of the light. 

3. The photographic plate, nailed under the 
table, passed with swift motion to its upper sur- 
face, while all present were on their feet and 
forming the chain, and in the best light possible, 
— all of us, including the medium, being at a 
distance from the table, which was in open space 
and distinctly visible on all sides. 

The objective records of the phenomenon were 
these: When the seance was over, the photo- 
graphic plate was found to be on the table in- 
stead of under it, and two of the nails that had 
held it up were missing. Before the event oc- 
curred, Eusapia made the one of us who had 
nailed the glass plate under the table give her 
his hand to hold, while her right was at the same 
time held by two others of us. 

4. The photographic plate (wrapped up in 
black paper) which one of us had held on the 
head of the medium and which for several seconds 
had been struggled for by what we called a hand, 
showed after development the dark negative im- 



EXPERIMENTS WITH INSTRUMENTS 83 

print of four large fingers (Fig. 35). This is 
evidently a case of radio-activity and not of 
luminosity, because the impression was made 
through an opaque medium. Two of the plates 
gave uncertain results. 

Our manometer had made on the smoked paper 
varied markings, the highest of which corre- 
spond to a pressure of 56 millimetres of mercury. 
The proportions of the elastic cloth being known, 
that indicates that upon this cloth there had been 
exerted a pressure equal to about 10 kilograms. 
Upon the gutta-percha cloth covered with lamp- 
black there was found the imprint of the cloth; 
only it was partly torn. 

Bottazzi (Nelle Regioni Inesplorate della Bio- 
logia Umana, 1904), and Galeotti at Naples, un- 
dertook on a grand scale, in experiments with 
Eusapia, the application of graphic registration 
to mediumistic phenomena. From Bottazzi I have 
gleaned the following accounts : — 

Conceive a metallic cylinder covered with a 
sheet of white paper that has been smoked, — 
a cylinder that turns continuously on its axis with 
a uniform motion more or less rapid. Just touch- 
ing the cylinder is the point of a pen, or stylus, 
which at one end is fixed to a support. The style 
may rest in a vertical plane in the centre of which 
is a horizontal axis. When the style moves over 
that plane, the point describes on the cylinder a 



84 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

curved line, the arc of a circle that has for its 
centre the axis around which the style moves. 
The style should be held by means of a counter- 
weight in a fixed horizontal position. Upon the 
surface of the seance-table let there be a tele- 
graphic key, and let the button of the key be 
connected with the style by means of a cotton 
or silk thread. Then say to the medium, " Press 
down the button without touching it with your 
visible hand, but solely by means of your medium- 
istic force." The medium presses it down. The 
click of the key is heard, that is to say, the rap 
of the metallic point of the key upon the metal 
block underneath. But at the same time, through 
the operation of the thread, the lowering of the 
button has drawn down the style, the point of 
which has traced a line on the smoked paper. 

The telegraphic key was set in motion several 
times. It was screwed down on a piece of board, 
and hence was not misplaced or overturned. 

We all heard the rapid lively taps of charac- 
teristic timbre. And as a proof that we were 
not the victims of collective illusion or hallucina- 
tion, the tracing revealed to us three groups of 
registrations and two isolated strokes interca- 
lated among them. Fortunately, the electro-mag- 
netic signal operates in a mode quite different 
from that of our sense organs and is never de- 
ceived nor can be deceived. Those little vertical 
lines, that are almost indistinguishable one from 



EXPERIMENTS WITH INSTRUMENTS 85 

the other (because, owing to the low velocity of 
the cylinder, they succeed each other at too short 
intervals, less than the fifth of a second), corre- 
spond to an up and down movement of the key. 
Looking sharply at the original tracings with 
a magnifying lens, one discovers that the marks 
when they are thick are registered with a fre- 
quency of about 2\ for every \ of a second, that 
is to say, about 13 to a second. 

Here is another method of manometric regis- 
tration : 

You are to suppose fastened upon the top of 
a stool a Marey receiving tympanum, upon the 
central button of which, glued to the middle of 
the sheet of caoutchouc (more resistant than 
the sheets ordinarily used in physiological re- 
searches), had been fastened with strong glue 
a disk of wood for the purpose of increasing the 
superficies upon which the pressure of the in- 
visible hand of the medium was to be exerted. 
The tympanum was connected by means of a 
tube with a Frangois Frank mercury manometer, 
which, in a branch of the U-shaped tube, has 
a float furnished with a style that writes on the 
usual lampblacked cylinder. Every pressure ex- 
erted on the little wooden disk glued on to the 
elastic membrane is transformed (by transfer- 
ence of force) into a lifting of the float and of 
the style of the manometer, and every depres- 
sion into a lowering thereof. 



86 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

Now, if the tracing be observed, groups of 
ascending and descending white lines will be 
found, some higher, some lower. Naturally, to 
the higher lines correspond strong pressures, to 
the medium ones pressures of medium intensity, 
and to the lowest ones weak touches of the disk. 
The pressures given, especially the strongest, 
cannot produce the highest lines except when 
they are exerted on the membrane of the tympa- 
num, which, as has been said, is fastened upon 
the stool. 

As respects displacements of this stool, or as 
respects the taps rapped on it, or the movements 
imparted to the caoutchouc tube connecting the 
tympanum and the manometer, or even as regards 
the bruises or batterings of it, the former do not 
have any effect at all, and the latter are trans- 
lated into little vertical lines on the manometric 
tracing. An invisible hand or foot would have 
to strike or step on the little disk, would have 
to press on the membrane of the receiving tym- 
panum and that with force, since to obtain the 
highest lines it is necessary to depress the disk 
to the utmost limit. 

In other seances Bottazzi (see his Nelle Re- 
gioni Inesplorate, etc.) places on the table of 
the medium a letter weigher (balance scales) 
and the lampblacked cylinder, and adjusts the 
style against the paper. Madame Paladino is 



EXPERIMENTS WITH INSTRUMENTS 87 

asked to lower the little tray of the balance 
without touching it. The cylinder is put in mo- 
tion, and the point traces on it a horizontal line 
during several successive turns. Some seconds 
pass, when, lo! the left-hand curtain is seen to 
advance resolutely toward the table (as if pushed 
by a hand hidden behind it, whose fingers are 
plainly seen in relief), take hold of the tray 



*£4A><4 



■~4i 



Vi 



3m 

Fig. 36. Line Traced by a Supernumerary Phantasmal Hand. 

of the balance, forcibly depress it, then draw 
back and disappear. 

We stop the cylinder (says Bottazzi), and all 
testify to the fact that the point has traced 
(badly, to be sure, because the invisible hand 
made the balance oscillate) a vertical line upon 
the smoked paper. Eusapia's hands were in our 
custody (see Fig. 36). 

The next day (continues Bottazzi) I wanted 
to see how much the index of the letter balance 
registered when the little tray was depressed as 
far as in the experiment of the day before, and 
found that the pressure exerted on the tray must 
have been equivalent to 370 grams. 



88 



AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 



On the table of the medium, in these Bottazzi 
experiments, were the following objects: a cage 
of iron wire with a key (tasto) inside of it; two 
Erlenmayer goblets containing the two known 
solutions of ferrocyanide of potassium and chlo- 
ride of iron ; one or two spring-keys ; and a little 
Gaiffe electro-magnetic mechanism suitable for 
use as an electric cut-off, or interrupter. The 
other spring-key (the mate of that just spoken 
of) was outside of the cabinet on a chair. 



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Fig. 37. — Synchronous Registrations or Marks (Naples Physio- 
logical Laboratory, May 15, 1907). 

In the seance we are about to describe, the two 
keys operate marvellously well. Eusapia had at 
length learned to follow synchronous movements 
to perfection. 

Scarcely had the invisible hand begun to cause 
taps on the interior key to be heard when Bottazzi 
put the other key on the table and invited Eusa- 
pia to strike them both at the same time. 

The result of the experiment is visible in the 
two figures herewith presented, in which there are 
reproduced not only those which will be presently 
mentioned, but also the marks traced by the 



EXPERIMENTS WITH INSTRUMENTS 89 

points of the two Desprez registers (the two 
upper lines), not counting the curve of time 
(tempo) connected with the two spring-keys. 

The tracings show different groupings of syn- 
chronous taps. The number of the taps is not 
always the same in the two corresponding groups. 
But that comes from the circumstance that in 
each group the taps begin first on the interior 
key or first on the exterior one, and then the 
taps of the other key take place. But the syn- 
chronism is always perfect. The taps present 
a different record on the tracing and different 
from that perceived by our ears. As to this, the 
first thing to be considered is that the medium- 
istic raps are rapid and shorter, while those made 
by the visible hand of Eusapia are more gentle 
and hence more prolonged. The second point 
respects the force with which they were made, 
the criterion being the intensity of the sensations 
they provoke in us. Now the ones exterior to 
the curtain were quite weak, hardly audible; the 
interior ones were very strong, and appeared, not 
simply taps, but blows of a fist bestowed on the 
button of the key, delivered leisurely, not forcibly 
driven into the two surfaces of the table. 

The results obtained may be summed up thus : 

The heavy table in the cabinet was shaken 

violently many times, with visible effort on the 

part of the medium, who made use of her arms 

and legs in such efforts. It was also from time 



go AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

to time drawn forth by bounds and leaps from 
the cabinet by the anterior left-hand corner, cor- 
responding to the right side of Madame Pala- 
dino, and lifted up in such a way that after the 
sitting it was found twisted around, from front 
to rear and from left to right, about ten degrees 
measured on the level of the floor. Very natu- 
rally all the objects on it were, for this reason, 
either displaced or overturned (some one way, 
some another). 

Only the cylinder and the balance had pre- 
served their original position. From the trac- 
ings we found on the smoked paper it follows 
that the cylinder had rotated from right to left, 
that is, in the direction opposite to the hands 
of a watch, and that the pointer of the letter 
weigher had traced very irregular marks, cor- 
responding to the raps of the metallic clock upon 
the support of the letter balance, — sounds that 
we heard during the movements of the table. 

RESUME OF THE EUSAPIA PHENOMENA 

CLASS I 

The Eusapia experiments have been well 
summed up by Professor Morselli. The first 
class includes mechanical phenomena, with- the 
production of movements in the case of objects 
still in contact with the psychic. These Eusapia 
readily effects, in the dark or in the light indif- 



EXPERIMENTS WITH INSTRUMENTS 91 

ferently, — always, be it understood, under full 
" control." 

1. Meaningless oscillations and movements of 
the table. 

2. Movements and rappings of the table that 
have meaning. These also are very frequent, and 
those that tally the conventional language em- 
ployed by Eusapia — two taps " no," three taps 
" yes," etc. — regulate for the most part the 
method of procedure of the seances. In truth, 
the typtology of Eusapia, considered as a whole, 
is a little different from the marvellous commu- 
nications of a personal nature or of a philosophy 
ico-social order given by other mediums. 

By way of compensation the Eusapian table 
has a very rich diction that may be called 
" mimic " and which resembles that of a child. 

3. Complete levitation of the table to a height 
sometimes of 78 inches. 

4. Movements of different objects very lightly 
touched by the hands or body of the medium, 
which cannot be reconciled with the extremely 
weak pressure exerted by her. 

5. Movements, undulations, inflations of the 
curtains of the seance cabinet, without the pos- 
sibility of their taking place by means of the 
severely controlled hands or feet of Eusapia. 

6. Movements and inflations of the garments 
of the medium. 



92 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

CLASS II 

The second class is only the rounding out and 
finishing of the first class; that is to say, the 
mechanical effects are produced without contact 
with the person of the medium, at a distance 
which may vary from a few centimetres to sev- 
eral metres. They are the most disputed of all, 
because they can with difficulty be comprehended 
by the ordinary laws of physics, which teach that 
a mechanical force ought to act directly upon the 
resistance opposed to it by material bodies. And 
yet this mediumistic telekinesis [movement at a 
distance] is the most frequent thing to be seen 
at the seances of Eusapia Paladino. Let us cite 
in a summary way the chief phenomena of this 
class. 

7. Oscillations and movements of the medium- 
istic table without contact. 

8. Independent levitations of the table. We 
have been present at dances of the table a solo 
[without a partner] in full gas light when the 
medium was shut into the cabinet and tied 
there. 

9. Undulations, inflations, and flinging of the 
curtains of the cabinet. These take place even 
when the medium is distant; for example, when 
she is lying down and firmly tied within the cabi- 
net. It seems as if invisible personages must 
be lifting the hangings with their hands, — 



EXPERIMENTS WITH INSTRUMENTS 93 

drawing them back to open them, forcibly pull- 
ing them to close them, etc. 

10. Movements impressed on material bodies 
by hands voluntarily turned toward them, but at 
a distance. This phenomenon takes place ordi- 
narily in full light and at the end of sittings. 
It is the true externalization of motivity ex- 
plained by De Rochas. 

11. Spontaneous movements and the displace- 
ment of different objects at various distances, 
even at a distance of two and three metres from 
the medium. 

12. Transference of distant objects to the top 
of the table. Very frequently, however, such ob- 
jects preserve certain relations to the dark cur- 
tains, which, in the phenomenology of Eusapia, 
have a most important function to perform, — 
as if they served as a defence for invisible limbs. 

13. Displacement of the chairs of the ob- 
servers. Frequently we feel our chairs taken 
from under us, etc. 

14. Functional movements of mechanical in- 
struments at a distance. For example, the start- 
ing into operation of musical instruments (man- 
dolin, guitar, pianoforte, trumpet) or of other 
small mechanisms (music-boxes, metronome, dy- 
namometer, etc.), all at a distance from Eusapia. 



94 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

CLASS III 

The third class of mechanical phenomena con- 
cerns the alteration of the gravity of bodies, 
which are the least sure cases, although illus- 
trious observers guarantee us that they are 
authentic. 

15. Spontaneous changes of weight in a bal- 
ance. We have witnessed oscillations of the arm 
of a steelyard when it could not be seen that 
Eusapia pressed it. But the phenomenon ap- 
peared dubious. 

16. Changes in the weight of the body of the 
medium of from five to ten kilograms. 

17. Levitation in air of the person of the 
medium. 

Professor Morselli had the impression that any 
of these levitations was genuine at its beginning, 
but was unconsciously assisted by the two con- 
trollers at the finish. 

A curious class of cases, up to this time little 
studied, is that of the thermo-radiant results of 
mediumistic phenomena. It consists of few, but 
interesting, phenomena. 

18. Wind out of the dark cabinet is a very 
frequent thing and is felt at almost every se- 
ance. It is a true spouting fountain of air, com- 
ing from within the cabinet and behind the 
medium. 

19. Intense cold. It is observed, for the most 



SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS 95 

part, by the two controllers, and is the prelude 
to many manifestations. 

20. Radiations from the head and the body of 
the medium. 

When the hand is placed near the head of 
Eusapia, particularly that part of it where there 
is an osseous opening, or sunken place, due to 
a fall in early life, there is felt a very perceptible 
" puff " or draft, now tepid and now chilly. It 
is impossible to say just how great significance 
such phenomena have had in the hypotheses made 
to account for the new nervous forces. 

The class of acoustic phenomena is in part 
comprised in the three preceding, since very fre- 
quently movements at a distance are rendered 
possible by means of noise, — the sound, etc., of 
musical instruments in operation. 

But there are some other special cases of this 
class, as, for example, — 

21. Raps, blows, and other noises on the 
table. 

22. Raps and blows at a distance from the 
medium. 

23. Sounds of musical instruments. These 
are not really musical sounds, nor harmonious 
chords, and much less melodious airs. At the 
most, they are rhythmic time-beats. 

24. Noises of hands, of feet. 

25. Vocal human sounds. 

Professor Morselli next passes to a class of 



96 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

manifestations not less impressive; namely, to 
that which, according to the Spiritualists, must 
reveal the action of occult " intelligences," with 
lasting results upon inert material. Eusapia, 
through her lack of culture, is rather weak in 
this kind of phenomena. 

26. Mysterious marks made at a distance. 
These consist of spots and tracings found on the 
table and the cuffs of the experimenters, and 
seem to be made by a pencil. 

2,7. Direct writing. This would seem to be 
writing made directly by the " spirits," without 
any evident operation of a hand, — sometimes, 
however, with visible graphic materials (pencil, 
graphite) and sometimes without. 

28. Imprints on plastic material. (See photo- 
graphs, ante?) 

29. Apports. 

CLASS IV 

This deals with materializations, that is, with 
ex novo creations, more or less organized, and 
possessing our human physical characteristics 
embodied in a material substance; which means 
beings opposing resistance to touch and to the 
muscular sense (tangible beings) and beings 
sometimes endowed with self-light (luminous 
existences), but more frequently capable solely 
of arresting the exterior rays of light (render- 
ing themselves visible). 



SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS 97 

The first sub-class is that of solid materializa- 
tions, which Professor Morselli calls " stereosts " 
and " plasmasts " (stereosi and plasmazioni) . 

30. Touchings, handlings, and pressures of 
invisible hands. These are very common phe- 
nomena in the seances, occurring either in the 
darkness or in weak light or by red light. And 
they are genuine human hands that touch, press, 
grasp, draw, lightly strike, knock against us, pull 
one's beard or hair, remove eyeglasses, and be- 
stow cuffs or slaps. 

31. Organizations having a solid form and the 
characteristics of limbs of the human body. They 
are ordinarily hands, arms, and even heads, that 
are felt through the dark curtain and that seem 
pieces or fragments of a creature that is being 
formed. Sometimes they give the impression 
(tangible) of being an entire person. Pressures 
or grasps of a hand through the curtain are 
usually but momentary, the hand and arm draw- 
ing back in haste; but sometimes they remain 
a good while and allow of handling, especially 
the faces. The unseen mouth also gives kisses, 
bites, and the like, — hindered, however, almost 
always by the stuff of the curtain. 

31 (a). Organs identical with human hands, 
distinguishable to the touch as nude. On cer- 
tain occasions the touches of true hands of flesh 
and bone are felt, having the characteristics of 
the limbs of a living creature. The skin of the 

7 



98 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

hands, their warmth, the superficies of the palm, 
the mobile fingers, are all perceived. If they are 
grasped, you get the impression of hands that 
are dissolving under your touch, that slip away 
as if they were composed of a semi-fluid 
substance. 

32. Complicated actions of materialized forms 
(tangible-invisible). Those hands, those arms, 
those heads or half-persons, albeit remaining im- 
perceptible to the sight even of those who look 
within the cabinet (behind the curtains by which 
they are covered), yet advance towards the ob- 
servers, touch them, and handle them, draw them 
close and grasp them, or push them away, caress 
them, attract and kiss them, with all the mo- 
tions of real and living creatures. Further, they 
perform actions still more complex, whether in 
the penumbral light of the cabinet or in front 
of it (through the intermediary of the dark cur- 
tains, which are swelled out and projected at 
need over the surface of the sitters' table, or in 
the direction of those near it, even of persons 
outside of the chain), or whether in full freedom 
of movement, and fairly in the midst of the com- 
pany, to such an extent that certain members of 
said company feel themselves approached, em- 
braced, and kissed. 



SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS 99 

CLASS V 

This consists of luminous phenomena, — ele- 
mentary, self-illuminating (the telephany of the 
psychicists), or visible by the electric light, but 
always inorganic essences. 

33. Appearance of luminous points. These 
are the celebrated " little flames " of the Spirit- 
ualists. Eusapia produces them now and then, 
but not with the intensity of other mediums. 
They are undefmable gleams, for the most part 
with contours vague and blurred, sometimes like 
very bright globules, — after the style of the 
so-called " Batavian drops," but upside down. 
Again, they resemble true " tongues of fire," as 
they are seen figured upon the heads of the 
Apostles. They are evidently sometimes mul- 
tiple and seem to chase one another. It is im- 
possible for one who has seen them even for a 
single time to compare them (I will not say as- 
similate them) to artificial phosphorescences. 

34. Appearance of clouds or dim white mists. 
These do not seem to be endowed with their 
own proper light, since they can be observed 
only by the weak illumination this side of the 
curtains or within the cabinet. Sometimes they 
surround Eusapia's head or rise above her body 
when she is lying stretched out within her 
cabinet, and do not depend on action at a 
distance. 



ioo AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

35. Radio-active action on photographic plates 
folded up in dark papers, and on electroscopes 
which are discharged from a distance. 

36. Formation of obscure prolongations of 
the body of the medium. They are the super- 
numerary limbs which all those who have ex- 
perimented with Eusapia have caught glimpses 
of and described. Only half visible or seen in 
weakest light and when Eusapia's anatomical or 
true hands are in sight and well controlled, these 
neoplastic appendages of the body perform many 
of the phenomena more fully described elsewhere 
in this volume, — touches, handlings of individ- 
uals, shakings of chairs, etc. 

37. The issuing forth from the dark cabinet of 
shapes having a resemblance to arms and hands. 

38. Apparitions of hands. They are among 
the most common and the oldest of spiritistic 
manifestations. The hands that appear have out- 
lines for the most part indecisive or evanescent, 
of a whitish color, nearly diaphanous, and with 
elongated fingers. 

39. Apparition of forms obscure and of 
character indeterminate or not very evident. 
They are the incomplete materializations. Now, 
in the vague clare-obscure of the room, dark 
globes are seen emerging and disappearing 
(heads?) and indefinable penumbral appendages 
(arms, fists?). Now appear shadowy shapes 
with curved profile {profilo adunco) which are 



SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS 101 

conjectured to be bearded ("John King"). And, 
again, on the luminous background appear dim 
black spectral silhouettes which seem as if trans- 
parent, and got up in a most strange manner, 
and making fantastic gesticulations. 

40. Apparition of forms having the human 
appearance, or character. 

These are the " complete materializations," and 
form the apex of achievement so far attained 
by Eusapia. (Other mediums, among which are 
Cook and Madame D'Esperance, give much more 
marvellous instances.) With Eusapia they are 
faces accurately delineated, heads and figures and 
half-busts of personages who are identified and 
named, the medium availing herself of notions 
obtained from the traditional history of Spirit- 
ualism. In this case one must admit that Eusapia 
acts upon certain invisible defunct beings in such 
a way as to make them conduct themselves as 
living beings, — a fact demonstrated not merely 
by the playing of certain instruments and the 
sounds of voices, but by graphic registrations 
and reproductions of movements much more 
complex, and with instruments which she can- 
not influence with her individual will. Further- 
more, Eusapia can bring before our eyes the 
images of deceased persons of whom she had 
no knowledge before the seance. 



102 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

TRICKS 

Many are the crafty tricks she plays, both in 
the state of trance (unconsciously) and out of 
it, — for example, freeing one of her two hands, 
held by the controllers, for the sake of moving 
objects near her; making touches; slowly lift- 
ing the legs of the table by means of one of her 
knees and one of her feet; and feigning to ad- 
just her hair and then slyly pulling out one hair 
and putting it over the little balance tray of a 
letter weigher in order to lower it. She was 
seen by Faifofer, before her seances, furtively 
gathering flowers in a garden, that she might 
feign them to be " apports " by availing herself 
of the shrouding dark of the room. It would 
seem, also, that she had learned from certain 
prestidigitateurs some special tricks ; for example, 
that of simulating human faces by movements 
of the two hands wrapped with a handker- 
chief so as to look like a turban. And yet 
her deepest grief is when she is accused of 
trickery during the seances, — accused unjustly, 
too, sometimes, it must be confessed, because we 
are now sure that phantasmal limbs are super- 
imposed (or added to) her own and act as their 
substitute, while all the time they were believed 
to be her own limbs detected in the act of cozen- 
ing for their owner's behoof. 



CHAPTER IV 
The Power and Action of Mediums 

(Eusapia Paladino clinically studied) 

Let us see now if the explanation of all these 
marvellous phenomena can be found in the or- 
ganism of the psychics, studying one of them 
(Eusapia) clinically and physiologically. 

In external characteristics nothing abnormal 
appears, at first sight, except a lock of white 
hair surrounding a depression of the left parietal 
wall, — a depression caused, as was told me once, 
by a blow given her with a stewpan by her step- 
mother, or, according to another version, by a 
fall from a window at the age of two years. 

Her weight is 60 kilograms, and the weight 
does not vary after the seances. She has steno- 
crotaphia (that is to say, the forehead is narrow 
across the bizygomatic diameter, being greater 
than the frontal, 127 to 113); is dolicocephalic, 
73, which is, however, an ethnic feature; cir- 
cumference of the head small, 530; asymmetry 
not only of the cranium, but of the face, on ac- 
count of the greater development of the right 
portion. The left eye presents the phenomenon 
of Claude Bernard Horner, as in epileptics; the 



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106 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

pupils corectopic above and below; interiorly, 
they react poorly to the light, but, on the other 
hand, react well to adjustment. The arterial 
pressure, measured by the sphygmomanometer of 
Riva-Rocci, has given the following results : first 
trial, on the right 200, on the left 230; second 
trial, on the right 200, on the left 239. That is 
to say, she shows an asymmetry in arterial pres- 
sure that is common in epileptics, and, like these, 
exhibits marked tactual left-handedness, the es- 
thesiometer revealing great obtusity in the ends 
of the right fingers (5 millimetres) and less in 
those of the left (2.5). Her general sensitive- 
ness, studied with the sledge of Rhumkorff, pre- 
sents, on the other hand, right-handedness, regis- 
tering her electric sensitiveness as 73 millimetres 
on the right and 35 on the left, and the pain- 
causing sensitiveness (la dolorifica) as 60 on the 
right and 30 on the left, revealing itself as being 
in every way more delicate than in normal cases, 
in which the general sensibility, tested in the 
same way, marked 45 millimetres, and the dolo- 
rific 20. The barometric sensitiveness is unequal, 
thereby making confession that the same weight, 
when tested by the left, is heavier than when 
tested by the right; it shows differences of 
weight of 5 grams. The osseous sensibility is, 
at the diapason, 5 on the right, 8 on the left; 
is lacking in the forehead; with the little dy- 
namometer of Regnier-Mathieu it marks 11 



POWER AND ACTION OF MEDIUMS 107 

kilograms on the right and 12 on the left; 
when she was approaching the trance state, it 
marked 15 on both hands. With her right hand 
and arm extended she supports a weight of 500 
grams for a minute and two seconds; with the 
left for two minutes. She has the hyperaesthesic 
zone, especially in the ovary. She has the bole 
in the oesophagus that women with hysteria have, 
and general weakness, or paresis, in the limbs 
of the left side. 1 

Her field of vision, studied by Dr. Sgobbo, 
seems ample and normal. The reflex actions of 
the tendons are duller on the right, or, rather, 
they are not excited there except when accom- 
panied by the Jendrassik phenomenon. On the 
left they are nil Nothing is observed with the 
apparatus of Arsonval and the Rontgen rays. 

Once during full light, while she was in the 
normal state, she had her right hand held for 
her for four minutes over a photographic plate 
wrapped up in three folds of dark paper. This 
sufficed to cause her to enter into the trance state 
and to impart to the hand a feeling of electric 
tremor. When the plate was developed, at the 
place where her index finger had lain was found 
a formless stripe of the length of the finger. 
This fact, which is to be correlated with her 
mediumistic radio-activity, may be classified with 
another anomaly of hers observed by Flamma- 

1 Anillani, On the Mediumship of Eusapia Paladino, etc., 1907. 



108 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

rion, 1 and which consists in a diaphaneity on 
the periphery or contours of the fingers, forming 
as it were a second vague contour. " When I 
have this sign, I can do wonderful things," she 
asserts. 

Urine yellow (examined at Turin, 1901), in 
quantity of 2000 grams, with a specific gravity 
of 10.23, shows sugar 40 per cent, phosphates 
1.20 per cent, chloride 3.598; light traces of 
albumen. After a seance the albumen was much 
augmented (0.5 per cent), and the sugar dimin- 
ished (20 per cent). From analyses made later 
by Bottazzi it appears that the density of the 
urine after a seance is augmented, — 1023 in- 
stead of 1022; increase of albumen, 2 per cent 
in place of 1.25; azote, 11.28 per cent in place 
of 9.53; the electric conductibility increased to 
177.10 instead of 150.10; the congelation point 
increased to 1.560 instead of 1.260. 

Hypnotic phenomena, which are so closely con- 
nected with spiritistic phenomena as even to be 
confounded with them, are frequently exhibited 
by Eusapia, although she pays no attention to 
metals or magnets. Arullani (op. cit.), by merely 
grazing her forehead with his hand ["making 
passes "], can hypnotize her and cause her pres- 
ently to fall into the cataleptic state. 

Morselli, on the other hand, notes that it is 

1 See his Mysterious Psychic Forces, p. 198. Boston: Small, Maynard 
& Co., 1907. 



POWER AND ACTION OF MEDIUMS 109 

easier for her to be magnetized than hypnotized, 
so that by methodical passes of his hand over 
her head he can free her from headache (cepha- 
l(£a), and quiet her agitations of mind, and by 
upward magnetic passes provoke in her a state 
of semi-catalepsy, just as by passes in the re- 
verse direction he can remove distortions of her 
muscles and paresis. 

Twice only, however, did she have premoni- 
tions, and they were not at all clear, and she ex- 
plains them with that fantastic pseudology of 
hers in such a varied way that they can with 
difficulty be discriminated. The first time was 
apropos of the theft of jewels of which she was 
the victim. She was notified of it, she says, in 
two successive dreams in the nights immediately 
preceding the deed. But it appears from her own 
account that the theft took place in a way en- 
tirely different from her dreams, so that, in order 
to get light on them and discover the criminal, 
she was obliged to abase herself before a rival 
of hers, — a certain somnambulist named Del 
Piano, who pointed out the guilty one as being 
her concierge, — an opinion which seems to have 
been the true one, since it was shared by the 
police. 1 

Another time — the night preceding her dis- 
qualification, or exposure, at Cambridge (and 
this was the most serious misfortune of her life) 

1 Ing. Grauss, Annates des Sciences Psychiques, 1907. 



HO AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

— " John " appeared to her and sadly shook his 
head. It seems that this phantom intervened 
again in Paris, when Eusapia was ill and had been 
intrusted to a nurse who neglected her and went 
to sleep instead of watching with her, and had 
administered to her sounding cuffs and pinches, 
so that Eusapia grew terrified and fled. 

The same gentleman, M. Grauss (civil engi- 
neer), relates that, having been reproved by the 
commissary of police because, owing to her re- 
proaching her doorkeeper with the theft, she had 
rendered useless all search in his house, she was 
so taken aback that she swooned away. The 
table thereupon began to be agitated and to ex- 
press typtologically the thought of John: " Save 
my daughter, for she is going mad! Save her 
by suggestion ! " And the engineer having re- 
plied that John was stronger than he, lo ! an old 
man, meagre, with a long beard, appeared in 
broad daylight, and without saying a word placed 
his palm on M. Grauss's head and then on that 
of Eusapia, leaving him in a profound state of 
exhaustion. Eusapia woke up and soon forgot 
all her griefs. 

As respects the lottery, — something in which 
nearly all the village population of the province 
of Naples are sinners, — she had no success what- 
ever in premonitions, but in compensation pos- 
sessed a singular telepathic power. Twice, when 
persons were presented to her as her admirers, 



POWER AND ACTION OF MEDIUMS in 

while in reality they were her secret enemies, she 
repulsed them with brutal insolence without even 
looking in their faces. Her culture is that of a 
villager of the lower order. She frequently fails 
in good sense and in common sense, but has a 
subtlety and intuition of the intellect in sharp 
contrast with her lack of cultivation, and which 
make her, in spite of that, judge and appreciate 
at their true worth the men of genius whom she 
meets, without being influenced in her judgments 
by prestige or the false stamp that wealth and 
authority set upon people. 

She is ingenuous to the extent of allowing 
herself to be imposed on and mystified by an 
intriguer, and, on the other hand, sometimes ex- 
hibits, both before and during her trance states, 
a slyness that in some cases goes as far as de- 
ception. I have noted some instances of this 
trickery at the close of Chapter III, under the 
sub-head " Tricks/' 

She possesses a most keen visual memory, to 
the extent of remembering five to ten mental texts 
presented to her during three seconds. She has 
the ability to recall very vividly, especially with 
her eyes shut, the outlines of persons, and with 
a power of vision so precise as to be able to de- 
lineate their characteristic traits. 

But she is not without morbid characteristics, 
which sometimes extend to hysterical insanity. 
She passes rapidly from joy to grief, has strange 



112 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

phobias (for example, the fear of staining her 
hands), is extremely impressionable and subject 
to dreams in spite of her mature age. Not rarely 
she has hallucinations, frequently sees her own 
ghost. As a child she believed two eyes glared 
at her from behind trees and hedges. When she 
is in anger, especially when her reputation as a 
medium is insulted, she is so violent and impul- 
sive as actually to fly at her adversaries and beat 
them. 

These tendencies are offset in her by a singular 
kindness of heart which leads her to lavish her 
gains upon the poor and upon infants in order 
to relieve their misfortunes, and which impels 
her to feel boundless pity for the old and the 
weak and to lie awake nights thinking of them. 
The same goodness of heart drives her to pro- 
tect animals that are being maltreated, by sharply 
rebuking their cruel oppressors. 

Before the seance, and sometimes when it has 
begun, she can give notification of what she will 
accomplish, although afterwards she cannot re- 
member whether she has done what she promised 
or not, and frequently does not succeed in doing 
what she boasted she would do. 

At the beginning of the trance her voice is 
hoarse, and all the secretions — sweat, tears, even 
the menstrual secretions — are increased. Hy- 
peresthesia, especially sinistral hyperesthesia, is 
succeeded by anaesthesia. Reflex movements of 



POWER AND ACTION OF MEDIUMS 113 

the pupils and tendons are lacking. Tremors 
and myostenia occur, followed by amyostenia and 
paresis (especially dextral). When she is about 
to enter into the trance state, she lessens the fre- 
quency of the respiratory movements, just as do 
the fakirs, passing from 18 inspirations to 15 
and 12 a minute; while, on the other hand, the 
heart beats increase from 70 to 90, and even 
to 120. The hands are seized with jerkings and 
tremors. The joints of the feet and the hands 
take on movements of flexure or extension, and 
every little while become rigid. The passing 
from this stage to that of active somnambulism 
is marked by yawns, sobs, perspiration on the 
forehead, passing of insensible perspiration 
through the skin of the hands, and strange 
physiognomical expressions. Now she seems a 
prey to a kind of anger, expressed by imperious 
commands and sarcastic and critical phrases, and 
now to a state of voluptuous-erotic ecstasy. 

In the state of trance she first becomes pale, 
turning her eyes upward and her sight inward 
and nodding her head to right and left; then 
she passes into a state of ecstasy (see Fig. 38), 
exhibiting many of the gestures that are fre- 
quent in hysterical fits, such as yawnings, spas- 
modic laughter, frequent chewing, together with 
clairvoyance and a word often extremely select 
and even scientific, and not seldom in a foreign 
tongue, with very rapid ideation, so that she 



114 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

comprehends the thought of those present even 
when they do not express it aloud or utter it in 
a mysterious manner. Morselli observed in her 
trance state all the characteristics of hysteria, 
namely, (i) loss of memory; (2) her personifi- 
cations as John King, in whose name she speaks ; 

(3) passional acts, now erotic, now sarcastic; 

(4) obsession, especially in the shape of fear 
that she may not succeed in the seances; (5) 
hallucinations; and so forth. Toward the end 
of the trance, when the more important phe- 
nomena occur, she falls into true convulsions 
and cries out like a woman who is lying-in, or 
else falls into a profound sleep, while from the 
aperture in the parietal bone of her head there 
exhales a warm fluid, or vapor, sensible to the 
touch. 

And, as the medium produces spontaneous 
movements without the aid of the usual ana- 
tomical means, so she experiences visual and tac- 
tile sensations without the intervention of the 
usual organs of sense, since she informs us of 
things happening about us in positions inacces- 
sible to her sight or to the sight of any one 
else, occurrences which afterwards are shown to 
be true. 

Apropos of this, it is inaccurate to affirm 
that she exhibits knowledge which out of the 
trance state she would not have. During the 
entire seance the medium remains in full rapport 




Fig. 39. (1. Upper Left) Magnesium Light Photograph. Present, Professor 
Morselli on Extreme Left. (2. Upper Right) Levitation of the Table 
at 2 p.m. Present, Professors Porro and Mottza. (3. Lower Left) 
eusapia with the lad peppino, whom she wished to adopt. (4. lower 
Right) Magnesium Light Photograph (Seances i 901 -1902). 



POWER AND ACTION OF MEDIUMS 115 

with all present, expresses her own opinions and 
her own will, whether viva voce (frequently pro- 
nouncing the words badly, like a progressive 
paralytic) or else with taps, which are now heard 
to proceed from the table and now from other 
objects, — the thought conveyed either in Italian 
or in a foreign tongue. 

After the seance Eusapia is overcome by 
morbid sensitiveness, hyperesthesia, photopho- 
bia, and often by hallucinations and delirium 
(during which she asks to be watched from 
harm), and by serious disturbances of the di- 
gestion, followed by vomiting if she has eaten 
before the seance, and finally by true paresis of 
the legs, on account of which it is necessary for 
her to be carried and to be undressed by others. 

These disturbances are much aggravated if 
through the imprudence of any member of the 
company she is exposed to unexpected light, 
either before or after the sitting. This fact calls 
to mind the pythoness of Delphi, whose prophetic 
oracles shortened her life; also the sad case of 
Madame D'Esperance, who, through being ex- 
posed to brilliant light during a seance, suffered 
paralysis for many years. 

I ought to add here a fact discovered by Dr. 
Imoda; namely, that when Eusapia is in the 
normal state she has no influence whatever on 
the electroscope. One evening when she had 



n6 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

just awakened from the trance state, by holding 
her hands in the air above the electrode she was 
able after three or four minutes to produce a 
lowering of the gold leaf. Taken in connection 
with the impression of her fingers on photo- 
graphic plates wrapped up in dark paper, this 
confirms the fact of her radio-activity in the 
trance state. It agrees, furthermore, with the 
frequent appearance of white fluctuating clouds, 
like luminous vapor, upon the surface of the 
table or upon her head during the seances, it 
being a property of the cathode rays to incite 
the formation of vapor, or mist, when they trav- 
erse a stratum of air saturated with humidity. 

Nor are these morbid phenomena peculiar to 
Eusapia: they may be observed and verified in 
all the mediums. 

The grandmother, mother, and one of the 
brothers of the famous medium Elena Smith 1 
were subject to hypnotic and mediumistic phe- 
nomena. She herself had obsessions, hallucina- 
tions, from childhood up, and, later in life, fits 
of somnambulism, dysmenorrhea, and, in the 
mediumistic trance, complete anaesthesia of one 
hand and allochiria [confusion of sensations], 
so that if pricked in the right hand she feels 
the pain in the left, and also believes she sees 
on the left objects which are really on her 
right. 

1 See Flournoy, Des Indes a la Planete Mars. Paris, Geneve, 1900. 



POWER AND ACTION OF MEDIUMS 117 

Mrs. Piper, when entering into a trance, be- 
gins with a slight convulsion, with peculiar 
shocks or starts, upon which follow stupor, ster- 
torous breathings, a cry, after which she incar- 
nates herself and the spirits communicate with 
her on the left side (the usual spiritistic left- 
handedness). 1 Her best communications are ob- 
tained at the beginning of the sitting. It must 
be observed that Mrs. Piper became a medium 
after her fright at a thunderbolt and after she 
had had two operations for the removal of 
tumors. 

" When I am in a trance," writes D'Espe- 
rance, " I have a feeling of vacuity and lose the 
sense of space. I cannot tell where my finger 
moves; it is as if I were moving in water. . . . 
The transformation of vapor into a living being 
is so rapid that I cannot tell which is first 
formed, the body or its clothing. When the 
phantasm appears, I feel it so difficult to recover 
my thoughts and gather up my powers that I 
can hardly reply. I seem as in a dream and 
am unable to move. When Yolanda moves, she 
makes me perspire and exhausts me more than 
if I myself moved. When she materializes her- 
self outwardly, I feel a stronger accession of 
power. When she touches some object, I feel 
my muscles contract, as if it were my hands that 
touched it. When she put her hands into melted 

2 Sage, Madame Piper. Paris, 1902. 



Ii8 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

paraffine, I felt my hands burn. When a thorn 
penetrated her finger, I experienced great pain. 
I saw her playing the organ ; I saw her six times 
outside the cabinet. In the first moment of the 
semi-trance, when the phantasms have not yet 
appeared, I have a greater sensitiveness than the 
normal. I feel a person moving about in the 
house; I have a perception of the movements of 
the church clock and of the hissings of steam 
such as I do not have when in the normal state, 
and I am conscious of what persons present are 
thinking. When I touch the hands of Yolanda, 
I believe I am feeling my own, but perceive my 
error afterwards when I see four hands. When 
I stretch out my hands to touch her, I feel only 
the empty air. I have no sensation when a 
weight is placed on my feet. Nevertheless, one 
Sabbath I felt the entire weight of her body" 
(Aksakoff, Un Cas de Dematerialisation) . 

Politi, when out of the trance, does not ex- 
hibit any anomaly: in the trance this medium 
has convulsions, anaesthesias, terrific zoomorphic 
hallucinations, delirious ideas of persecutions. 

All this is affined to hysteria, — just as (says 
Morselli very truly) tabes and general paralysis, 
without being due to syphilitic processes, develop 
more in those who have been syphilitic, just as 
those afflicted with gravel and asthma, while they 
may not be by nature gouty or rheumatic persons, 
have an affinity for those troubled with these 



POWER AND ACTION OF MEDIUMS 119 

diseases, although they have never had suffer- 
ing in the joints. 

The foregoing diagnosis suffices very well for 
the conclusion that the whole thing is a true 
hysteric equivalent, a new form of hysterical at- 
tack, just as, in my opinion, the creative frenzy 
(or oestrus) of genius is an equivalent of the 
psycho-epileptic paroxysm on a neurotic and 
morbid background. 

Hence, when Professor Lucatello at Padua 
finds in Zuccarini complete cutaneous insensibil- 
ity to pain, and somnambulism carried to the 
point of catalepsy, in consequence of a simple 
cutting of the skin (and Patrizi had already 
noted other hysterical anomalies, such as dissym- 
metry of the face with inferior development of 
the left half; the phenomenon of Claude Ber- 
nard Horner, so frequent among epileptics; dis- 
parity of the visual function in the two eyes; 
ambidexterity; disproportion between the great 
opening of the arms (r.71) and the stature 
(1.60); habitual talking in her sleep, and de- 
ficient power of attention), that argues nothing 
against her mediumistic powers, but in part sug- 
gests and explains them, just as, in my opinion, 
the miracles of genius are explained by the neu- 
rotic concomitants. 

And we are so much the more led at the very 
outset to believe that all the spiritistic phenom- 
ena take their rise in the abnormal state of the 



120 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

medium, since many of these phenomena always 
take place in her immediate vicinity, especially 
on the left side, and since the phantasmal arms 
and hands issue with more facility from her 
body and her garments, and the spectral forms 
appear for the most part above her head or 
that of her control standing by. Further, the 
rarer and more important are the phenomena 
(for instance, the apparition of phantasms), so 
much the heavier is the trance of the medium. 
Indeed, when movement of objects occurs, even 
at some distance away from said medium, syn- 
chronous movements are noticed in him or her. 
And, as soon as a phantasm appears, there is 
frequently noticed (for instance, in the medium 
Fairland, who was sewed into a hammock to 
allow the registration of variations in her weight) 
a gradual diminution of this, till it reached 66 
pounds, — half her weight ; and the moment the 
phantasm disappeared her weight began to in- 
crease (Psychic Studies, 1887). 

This fact proves that the body of the spectral 
appearance is formed at the expense of the body 
of the psychic, and the matter is confirmed by 
the circumstance that in the first materializations 
of mediums many of the phantasms they evoke 
bear a certain resemblance to the face or the 
limbs of the medium, or even to the whole of his 
or her person, — something that must have fos- 
tered still further the suspicions as to trickery 
and deceit. 



fteproduziert nach Pastellmalereien, die von einem Med 




., ! I /..,••■: i. it: ">:it.jr>!(- 




tin • . ■. t it ,.,-.,., <j, i,.-,gttt.-|il wiiul«ii 



Reproduziert narfi PasteHmalereien. die von rinem Medm 




sornnambulen Zustande bergesteltt wurden. 




bulen ZusUmde hergestelit wmdf 



Fig. 41. Flowers drawn with Colored Crayons by a German 
Peasant Woman while in the Somnambulistic State. 



POWER AND ACTION OF MEDIUMS 121 

I may add here the fact discovered by Rochas 
of the exteriorization of the sensitivity and mo- 
tive power of the medium to the extent of several 
centimetres beyond his proper body. Now, the 
ability to extend this exteriorization to the psychic 
activity and prolong the motive power of that 
activity to a greater distance would suffice to 
explain a large part of the most mysterious phe- 
nomena of spiritism, especially since the phan- 
tasms, or spectres (the most important spiritistic 
phenomenon), often issue from the belly or the 
head of the medium (D'Esperance) and assume 
the medium's gestures and general appearance. 

Moreover, the medium has some special char- 
acteristics. Not to speak of the strange epileptic- 
like look, even when out of the trance state he 
shows, according to Maxwell, zoomorphic spots 
in the iris of the eye; and, if he is not specially 
wicked, he becomes so in the trance. The me- 
dium may vary in intelligence from the ultra 
mediocrity of Politi up to the positive genius of 
D'Esperance and Moses. But in the trance state 
even the most stolid may develop an extraordi- 
nary intelligence, and Wallace tells of an igno- 
rant, coarse-witted salesman who could discourse, 
when in trance, upon fate and prescience, whereas 
afterwards he could scarcely speak on common 
things. 

The matter is worse still as respects the moral- 
ity of mediums, many of them being ready de- 



122 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

ceivers and lascivious, while others, like the 
woman Smith and like Moses, are perfect saints. 
I have personally known some of them during 
intoxication, or when experiencing deep and joy- 
ful emotion, double their mediumistic powers. I 
have known of others who were not indubitably 
affected by albuminuria or diabetes, and yet dur- 
ing a seance these things appeared in them and 
grew worse. 

For the most part, in order to develop their 
mediumistic powers, they require darkness, ex- 
citement, voices, cries, songs, 1 and (with the 
exception of the famous D'Esperance and Home) 
have no remembrance or consciousness of what 
they do in the trance, just as in the case of 
epileptics. 

The proofs of the transmission of thought, 
whatever others affirm, are frequent and evident 
during Eusapia's trances. 

I was thinking hard of being able to see my 
mother again: the table energetically assented 
to my thought unexpressed in words, and im- 
mediately afterwards appeared the image of my 
mother. Signor Becker mentally asks that his 
cravat be untied and removed, and his desire is 
immediately satisfied. Dr. Surada mentally wills 
that John pour water into a goblet in the me- 
dium's cabinet, and the thing is at once done: 
the glass full of water is transported to the table 

1 Maxwell recalls the incantations of witches and magicians. 





:' ' : -M .' ^.'jitt H 


llil 


mT ■■>•' ■ ffll lifBr' ^S --SI 

Wm0 -*m ' Hear m 


wsBgT • ■ •- - ■ 


:, ~m& .■,■■ ■ ; i 


™ W\ :? 


Hr 5 




m 




'J?. , "W?/" 


Wm 


■^ i^T/'" '■' w m wBL 


^ '*™*&i&# 






^'^W^^^m^ 


*> _. JaK-Pfi^ 


: / 


m ^kHh 


mtmv^mj vUi* -$B13 W&M 


p gsm 


B^"^k laMN '«fe ?*iH K^^B 


■fel 


Pc^f*wl 


r#^-^'^.:^;S 


&2L $ v ^ Wj»- • 1 


; % ■'■ ^TlBi 


H HM^? Snfcl Bff : * ; a 


F.:;^l~-v: 


.•iv;-- .w ■ : I ^-- &"* : "^ 




Fig. 42 a. Mediumistic Designs by Machner. 



POWER AND ACTION OF MEDIUMS 123 

and then placed to the lips of one of the con- 
trollers. The Countess of A. (at Venice, Pro- 
fessor Faifofer) sews under a fold of her dress 
a little bag containing a piece of money, and 
comes to the seance with the idea unexpressed 
in words that it be unsewed and abstracted ; and, 
behold ! no sooner does she concentrate her mind 
on the thought again at the seance than it is 
done. On another occasion she comes wearing 
a jewel on her head and in thought desires that 
it be transferred to the head of Eusapia, to whom 
she wishes to present it; and as soon as she 
thinks the thought anew the transfer takes place. 

During trance, as we shall see, mediums ac- 
quire muscular and intellectual energy which they 
have not before had, and which can only rarely 
be explained by the transfer of thought from 
the minds of spectators (i.e., by telepathy), and 
which therefore demand a special explanation, 
— that of aid from the spirits of the departed. 
They transfer during trance some of their most 
singular powers, such as left-handedness (Eu- 
sapia) and incombustibility (Home, who not only 
could touch a glowing coal without feeling pain, 
but could transfer this power to another). 

Many of them manifest their activity in only 
one direction. The most common and least im- 
portant, and often most liable to error, are the 
typtological mediums, who communicate by taps 
emanating from the table, and by the movements 



124 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

of a pointer placed over an alphabet spread out 
on the table. The most common and mediocre 
are the motor mediums, who cause tables, chairs, 
etc., to move. 

There are healers among them, often most 
ignorant of medicine, and who can still obtain 
results. I have seen one of the most stupid of 
them (a woman), whom the Hindu fakirs would 
have recognized as a sister, benefit for fifteen 
or twenty days, by means of ridiculous muscular 
exercises, the health of a woman in the last stage 
of tabes. 

And there are painter mediums, such as Sar- 
dou, Ugo di Alexis, Desmoulin, who without any 
ideas whatever sometimes depict and color ob- 
jects. They seem to copy them by a transparent 
medium from a model. See, for example, the 
flowers painted during somnambulism by the 
peasant woman " R." who was absolutely igno- 
rant of design. Note also the flowers and land- 
scapes of Machner, a German sailor, who before 
he did this work had never taken a pencil in 
hand. And there are some who, like Desmoulin, 
execute in the dark oil paintings that would ordi- 
narily require whole months of work, and which 
when awake these mediumistic somnambulists 
are unable to complete. 

Then there are speaking mediums; also rhab- 
domancists, who locate metals in the earth; 
pneumatographers, who call forth direct writing 



1 


jj J | KS& . 




-.-; 




HkM* 


^ IS 


fi 




l ; 'ii ::; 




POWER AND ACTION OF MEDIUMS 125 

without making use of a pen; the dematerial- 
izers, who bring in apports from without in spite 
of windows and doors closed and intact ; evokers 
of phantasms; photofors, who bring out gleams 
of light of a more or less circumscribed nature; 
photographers, who print the forms of invisible 
spirits upon photographic plates, even in the dark ; 
glottologues, who speak unknown tongues ; fore- 
seers, who prophesy; intuitive writers, who hear 
in the brain a voice dictating to them what they 
shall write, while acoustic mediums hear with 
their ears the voice of spirits. Then we have the 
musician mediums, who before the seance do not 
know a note, and yet play on various instru- 
ments. Others handle glowing coals without 
burning themselves. Others are the incarnaters, 
who rapidly impersonate by word and look, etc., 
one or more deceased persons, one after the 
other. Such a one is Randone, of Rome, who 
impersonated for us the face and gestures suc- 
cessively of an idiot, a church orator, a profes- 
sor affected with general paralysis, etc. 

There are some (such as Zaccardini, of Bo- 
logna) who make a specialty of levitation and 
nothing more. Eusapia and Home unite in them- 
selves many of these features, such as material- 
ization, direct writing, apports, levitation. But 
the majority are mediums who produce physical 
results of a motor nature. The minority (and 
the most elect) deal with intellectual and mixed 



126 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

phenomena. I noticed also in the life of Eusa- 
pia that her first manifestations were motorial; 
the last, phantasmal. Even in the trance only 
motorial phenomena are identified and studied at 
first. The spectral forms appear with her only 
in the last stages of the trance, when the lethar- 
gic condition has reached its most acute stage. 



ACTION OF THE MEDIUMS 

There is also another singular attribute of 
mediums which we must admit in order to ex- 
plain certain spiritistic phenomena; namely, the 
fact that in the psychological atmosphere (milieu 
ambiant) of the medium in a trance, and by the 
medium's own action, the conditions of matter 
are modified, just as if the space in which the 
phenomena takes place belonged not to three, but 
to four dimensions, in which (according to the 
theory of the mathematicians) the law of gravity 
and the law of the impenetrability of matter 
would suddenly fail, and the laws that rule time 
and space would suddenly cease, so that a body 
from a far-off point may all at once find itself 
near by, and you may find a bunch of freshest 
flowers in your coat-pocket without their show- 
ing any trace of being spoiled; or a stone or 
a key or a garment may enter a room closed 
tight as wax; or one ring may pass within an- 
other; or knots may be formed or untied in a 



POWER AND ACTION OF MEDIUMS 127 

string tied and sealed at a certain point,, 1 or the 
levitation not merely of inorganic, but of living 
bodies may take place. And we should have to 




Fig. 44. 



Experiment with Knots formed in a Sealed String, 
by zollner. 



give this explanation, too, when Eusapia, merely 
by touching a sheet of paper with the finger of 
Schiapparelli, produces writing either on the last 

1 Zollner, after having tied in a knot the two ends of a long slender 
cord and sealed the knot, unexpectedly placed it under the eyes of Slade 
expressing the desire that knots should be formed thereon; whereupon 
these suddenly appeared on it while Slade's hands were three quarters of 
an inch from the seal, which remained intact. In another trial Zollner 
tied two thick rings to a string, which he knotted and suspended from 
the edge of a table upon which Slade was holding his hands. All of a 
sudden the rings disappeared from the string and were found at the foot 
of another table near by. 



128 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

pages of a ream of paper or on the curtain-pole 
above the window ; or when she makes roses drop 
out of my sleeves and Richet's while we are hold- 
ing her hands; or when she levitates the table 
or slowly raises herself in the air above the table 
itself. 

Perhaps, also, by inverting the laws of time, 
like those of space, we should be able to explain 
how mediums can at times succeed as prophets, 
— a fact authenticated with precision by Hodg- 
son and by Hyslop in five or six instances in 
which the American medium, Mrs. Piper, figured. 
This medium predicted for persons perfectly well 
the malady each should be afflicted by, and who 
would cure them, and what complications would 
ensue. 

Now, in order that an object may by apparent 
automatic movement pass out of a closed room 
without any opening of door or windows, it must 
needs be made to pass through wood or glass 
or bricks. But in order that this may take place 
(says Brofrerio, op cit., p. 195) one of three 
things must happen : either it must pass through 
the panes of glass without coming apart or break- 
ing up, — that is to say, its atoms must pass 
through the interatomic spaces of the panes; or 
else it must be decomposed into imponderable 
material (an operation which we not very hap- 
pily call " dematerialization ") before passing the 
walls, and afterwards be recomposed; or else, 



■ ,.; ■ ; • 





'■ ■' 



Fig. 43. Experiment with Ring and Knotted String, by Zollner. 



POWER AND ACTION OF MEDIUMS 129 

in order to appear and disappear without passing 
through the walls at all, it would be necessary 
for it to pass into a fourth dimension of space 
and then, returning, emerge from that again. 
Before the eyes of beings living in a space of 
only two dimensions (just as the photographic 
figures in the electrotachiscope seem to move, 
maintaining themselves always in one plane) we 
could cause a flower painted within a circle to 
disappear, and then make it reappear outside of 
said circle, because we could lift it into the air 
and make it disappear in a third dimension, in 
height or depth (a thing of which those photo- 
graphic beings could not have the slightest idea). 



CHAPTER V 
Mediums and Magicians in Savage Tribes 

That mediums have so preponderating a power 
in spiritistic matters is a fact strengthened and 
buttressed by what is observed 1 among almost 
all primitive peoples and savage tribes, who be- 
lieve in the powers of certain individuals, — 
magicians, wizards, prophets. These are all true 
mediums having an influence in the political and 
religious constitution of the community, indi- 
viduals who act in our realm of space as if they 
were living in a space of the fourth dimension, 
upsetting our laws of time, space, and gravity: 
prophets and saints who predict the future and 
transport themselves through the air; witches 
who pass with their entire bodies through a key- 
hole and transport themselves in a flash to a dis- 
tance of thousands of miles. 

It is in vain to disparage the opinions of the 
vulgar; for if it is true that they do not possess 
the means of the learned scientist for the attain- 
ment of truth, nor his culture and talent, they 
supplement this by manifold illiterate and em- 
pirical observations, the result of which in the 

1 C. di Vesme, Storia dello Spiritismo. 3 vols. Torino. 



MEDIUMS IN SAVAGE TRIBES 131 

end is superior in many cases to that attained by 
the highest scientific genius. And so the influ- 
ence of the moon and of meteors on the human 
mind, the inheritance of disease, and the conta- 
giousness of consumption were recognized by the 
plain people before they were by the learned sci- 
entist. The latter received the assertion of these 
facts with loud bursts of laughter, and perhaps 
still does so (the learned academies do not exist 
for nothing!). 

It is to be noted that among the Hebrews an 
insane man or a neurotic passed for a prophet; 
and Saul, when he prophesied, stripped himself 
naked, as madmen did ( 1 Sam. xix. 24. Richard 
Mead, Medic. Sacra, III.). In 1 Samuel, also, 
we see bands of false prophets running naked 
through the fields and elsewhere, and we behold 
them committing crazy and indecent acts in pub- 
lic, — cutting their hands, eating dung, going to 
brothels and boasting of it, and the like deeds. 

In the huge work on the Scientific Exploration 
of Algiers, Rel. di El A jack, we read: " The 
people of Tripoli are famous for their sincerity 
and for the great number of medjdub among 
them " (p. 100). Further on, speaking of one of 
them, he says : " He was the best of the medjdub ; 
his djedjeb (convulsion) was powerful" (p. 130). 
" The word medjditbim stands in Tripoli for 
those individuals who under special circumstances 
fall into a condition that recalls exactly that of 



132 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

the convulsionaries of Saint-Medard. They are 
numerous in Algiers, and are better known under 
the name of aicaovi or ammarim." 

Among the Kosa Kaffirs the doctor, or magi- 
cian, receives his diploma or credentials (so to 
speak) after a mental malady, during which he 
believes he sees the powers of water, earth, and 
sky, and horses, and is mentally disturbed thereby. 
The facts are set before the chief, who according 
to their importance either approves of them or 
refuses to nominate him for the office. 

The yogis of India are regarded as possessing 
the most perfect holiness, thanks to yoga, or 
union with God, a something attained by fixing 
the gaze on the point of the nose or on the navel. 
The yogis have the power of so governing the 
senses as not to perceive external sensations, or 
else of falling into a hypnotic trance. 

Amongst the Batachi, when they find a man 
possessed of an evil spirit, they respect him most 
profoundly and look on him as an oracle. " They 
pointed out to me," says a traveller, " a girl whom 
they called ' the daughter of the demon/ because 
her father was mad. She was continually vis- 
ited by evil spirits and hence all her wishes were 
executed. ,, 

Modigliani observes that the Nias select for 
their magicians or doctors those afflicted with 
some special deformity, notwithstanding the fact 
that they have a supreme contempt for deform- 



MEDIUMS IN SAVAGE TRIBES 133 

ity. Above all, they choose those whom the genii 
(bela) strike with madness suddenly, thus show- 
ing that they (the genii) pick them out for their 
intermediaries. Then the Nias drive them out 
of the village to take up their habitation in the 
trees. And, when their compatriots find them 
perched up there, they pull them down, consign 
them to the chief magician, who instructs them 
for fourteen days, during which they are obliged 
to feast the whole village as well as their instruc- 
tors. But they have their retaliation, for in their 
turn they are sumptuously feasted and cared for 
during life, so that many feign madness that they 
may obtain so rich an honor. 

In Peru, besides the priests, the sacred virgins, 
etc., there were magicians or prophets of a sec- 
ondary order who improvised prophecies (called 
hecheloc) while in the midst of convulsions and 
terrible contortions. They were venerated by 
the people, but despised by the more cultivated 
class. 

The Patagonians have female magicians and 
doctors who prophesy while affected with con- 
vulsive fits. Men may also be elected to the 
priesthood ; but they must dress like women and 
must always have exhibited from youth up special 
dispositions. Epileptics receive lawful election 
because they possess the divine spirit. 

Among the Carajas of Brazil he who is born 
or becomes epileptic or neurotic, and so is dis- 



134 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

posed by nature to nervous ailments, becomes a 
doctor. 

Kiernan says that among the nomadic peoples 
of Mongolia the symptoms exhibited by the f etich- 
istic magicians (shaman) are so similar to epi- 
lepsy, in furious ragings and visions, that the 
two states were long confounded under the single 
name of " the sacred malady." It was always 
believed that this was due to some supernatural 
power, benign or malign; and they accordingly 
were in the habit of either placating it or driv- 
ing it out. 

Amongst the Zulus, the Bechuanas, and the 
Walla-Wallas the profession of medicine is he- 
reditary, therefore the fathers choose certain 
sons, to whom they give counsel, even (it is 
claimed) after death. The same is true with the 
Siberian shamans. In certain Siberian tribes the 
medical gift or power (the shamanic force) comes 
upon one suddenly, like a nervous disease. It 
manifests itself in weakness and tension of the 
limbs, in tremors and inarticulate cries, fevers 
and convulsions and epileptic attacks, until the 
victims fall insensible. Afterwards they touch 
and swallow with impunity needles and glowing- 
hot pieces of iron. They also become delirious, 
until, all of a sudden, they take the magic drum 
and set up as shaman, or fetich doctor. 

Among the Diujeric of South Australia those 
become doctors who from childhood up have had 



MEDIUMS IN SAVAGE TRIBES 135 

visions of the Devil. They have frightful dreams, 
with visions of incubi and the like. 

The Kaffirs are an extremely superstitious folk. 
Superstition plays a great part in the relations of 
their life, and forms a part of their laws, cus- 
toms, religion. Their religion consists in vener- 
ation of the spirit of the departed (amadhlosi) . 

They call their predicters, or diviners, isanusi, 
or isangoma. They may be regarded as the 
priests of the Kaffirs and are the intermediaries 
between the living and the dead. Their power 
over good and evil, like their power over the 
hearts of the Kaffirs, is unbounded. The art of 
divination may be exercised both by women and 
men, and all those who engage in this profession 
form a very distinct class among the South Afri- 
can stocks. Europeans confound diviners and 
magicians. On the contrary, diviners, or proph- 
ets, among the Kaffirs are defined as a religious 
sect who act for the benefit of the people. If 
one were to give to an isangoma (diviner) the 
title untakati (sorcerer), it would give him very 
serious offence. It would be like calling a police- 
man a thief in Europe. Among the Kaffirs the 
diviner is thought of as the protector of the 
people. To him it belongs to unmask the kings 
and wizards and bring them to judgment and 
punishment. 

While the magician exercises his art for his 
own proper behoof, the diviner must work for 



136 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

the common good by legitimate means, in the 
character of a servant of the state. For this 
reason he has the entire confidence and respect 
of the Kaffirs. Before electing a diviner, it be- 
hooves to test his skill in the discovery of male- 
factors, finding lost articles, and recognizing a 
disease and its cause. Mastery in such things as 
these is indispensable to a diviner. In addition, 
he may also become an inganga (doctor) in other 
departments of knowledge. There are specialists 
for rain, hail, thunder, the grass, and what not. 
Usually the diviner is also an expert in the medi- 
cal art. However, all these specialties are not 
necessary; they are merely attributes of the di- 
viner, who ought to be able to communicate with 
the spirits of the departed in order to disclose 
their thoughts and secure their protection. In 
the fulfilling of their task, imagination and decep- 
tion co-operate. 

He who possesses sensitive nerves and has un- 
easy dreams is considered to be skilful in holding 
communication with the spirits of those who have 
passed beyond, and it is for this reason that 
women have greater aptitude for divination. No 
one can of his own volition and alone declare 
himself a diviner. The candidates must for some 
time be instructed by a wise diviner, chosen from 
among the oldest of the tribe, and be nominated 
with the consent of the chiefs. In the spring, 
with the budding of the leaves, appear the first 



MEDIUMS IN SAVAGE TRIBES 137 

symptoms of the future diviners. If at this sea- 
son a young man has agitated dreams, he pres- 
ently imagines that the spirits are in communi- 
cation with him. He seems to hear their voices. 
He goes wandering about aimlessly in solitary 
places, dives into deep waters to receive commu- 
nications from the spirits, and, when at night he 
returns to his home, he is dark of mood, refuses 
food (whereas formerly he ate like a wolf), and 
then falls into a state of ecstasy (see Fig. 45). 

In continuation of these phenomena his parents 
conclude to have him examined by a diviner. If 
this man finds his vocation genuine, he orders 
him a medicine to strengthen his mysterious 
symptoms, puts a bunch of feathers on his head, 
and initiates him into the secrets of the science. 
The candidate continues his cure by means of 
medicine and rubbings. Seized with frenzy, he 
dashes himself against the rocky walls of the 
house or throws himself into the water, exposing 
his life to danger so seriously that his friends 
are compelled to watch him and keep him from 
succumbing. He charms serpents and winds 
them about his body and neck. During the dif- 
ferent tests he grows visibly thinner, — which 
increases his worth, for the natives have little 
faith in fat diviners. Other diviners come into 
his hut ; and not unf requently it happens that they 
quarrel concerning their art, charging each other 
with being deceivers. 



138 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

After a time the novice calms down, his ap- 
petite returns, his dreams are tranquil, and he 
begins practice as a finder of lost objects. Be- 
fore being publicly received, he must prove him- 
self before the people. Various objects are hid- 
den in secret places, and, if he alone is unable to 
find them, other diviners come to his aid. If the 
trial gives good results, he is declared to be a 
true diviner. 

Among the Kaffirs consecrations never take 
place without plenty of meat and beer, and the 
instructors of the new man, after having revealed 
to their colleague the secrets of the science, for 
fear that he should forsake them and return to 
his former life, kill in his honor the animal that 
suffices for a public banquet. His friends make 
him presents to supply his first necessities. In 
the sequel, with a good stock of cunning and self- 
possession, he can lead his clients about by the 
nose and procure wealth. That will not be diffi- 
cult for him if he puts on a bold front and as- 
sumes a firm deportment. During his novitiate 
he has already had experience of that kind. If 
his predictions come true, he takes the fancy of 
the Kaffirs, becomes celebrated, and soon acquires 
a rich clientele. If he makes an error, he needs 
only to say, as do the Spiritualists, that the 
spirits have deceived him to-day, or else that 
they were in a bad humor and would not reveal 
anything to him. 



MEDIUMS IN SAVAGE TRIBES 139 

The confession that a certain old Kaffir woman 
(magician) makes is very interesting. Her name 
is Paula, of MarianhilL For twelve years now 
she has been a Christian, but for forty years be- 
fore this she was a celebrated diviner. She 
gives this curious account of herself and of her 
divining powers: 

" When I was a young woman, after I had 
had my third child, I continued ill; I was at- 
tacked by convulsions and had visions; my ap- 
petite left me, I became as thin as a stake. My 
parents came to the determination to consult a 
diviner. But my father, who was famous in this 
craft, said, ' Bring her to me, I will make a clair- 
voyante of her/ My husband was at first opposed, 
fearing he should have to spend too much money, 
but finally I was approved by a diviner. His 
verdict was this * ' She is one of us.' I was taken 
to the house of a woman-diviner, who, with my 
father, taught me how to see clearly into mys- 
teries. They brought me the three excellent medi- 
cines, Kindness, Gentleness, and Conformity with 
the Spirits of the Departed. I drank them for 
thirty days, then was thoroughly washed and 
rubbed with them. They placed goatskins on 
my shoulders as a sign of my merit. The spirits 
kept communicating more and more with me. In 
my dreams I saw the living and the dead. The 
spirits of my ancestors appeared to me under the 
form of gray lizards, sat on my shoulders, and 



140 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

encircled me. I began to make predictions of 
future events. People brought me money and 
other things. 

" After passing all the proofs, I was declared 
capable and conducted to my own native town, 
where a great feast was held in my honor. Oxen 
were killed and utschwala (the beer of the Kaf- 
firs) was drunk. My instructors each received 
two oxen as a gift. I took a young cock and 
rubbed and drenched it with the medicines. I 
then put it on the roof of my hut, and there it 
remained night and day, giving me notice by 
its crowing of the approach of my clients. When 
the convulsions were about to attack me, I would 
cry, ' Help ! Quick ! come and help me ! The 
spirits are attacking me ! ' The people would run 
up and sing and dance, stamping their feet. 
About seventeen years ago the magistrate of 
Maritzburg had me called before him, for he 
had lost two horses. I said, ' Go to the waterfall 
of Umgeni; you will find the two horses there 
tied, but the robbers have cut off their tails and 
their manes.' A posse of policemen was sent to 
the place indicated by me and found the horses 
just as I said. The thief, who was waiting near 
by to run them off, was put into prison." 

For his investigations the diviner makes use 
of the bones of animals or of sticks which he 
throws on the ground, drawing his conclusions 
from the way the sticks fall. When thrown high 



MEDIUMS IN SAVAGE TRIBES 141 

up into the air, if they fall back horizontally, the 
question gets a negative answer. If they make 
as if they would strike the client, the answer is 
" Yes." And, if it is a case of a sick stomach, the 
sticks ought to fall on the man's belly. If, on 
the contrary, they hit another part of the body, 
it means that the evil lies there. 



THE ARTIFICIAL CREATION OF MEDIUMS AND 
SORCERERS 

Mediums, prophets, magicians, who are masters 
in a greater or less degree of nature, of time 
and space, have become rare in our day, because 
accurate scientific instruments (especially in me- 
teorology) and the wisdom of scientific authori- 
ties supply them with greater certainty. But in 
ancient times and among barbarous peoples they 
were very common. And it is a curious thing 
that when they became scarce people created 
them artificially, by stimulating neuropathic symp- 
toms in certain ones predisposed to these, instill- 
ing fears into them during infancy or even 
during conception, and compelling them to long 
fasts. 

One of their chief methods in this creation of 
artificial magicians is the moulding and modify- 
ing of the whole character and life of the novice 
from birth up. 

" The Aleouts," says Reclus, " when they beget 



142 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

handsome boys, dress them and bring them up 
as women, and sell them at the age of fifteen to 
some rich man, although at the same time con- 
secrating them to the priesthood. The first fresh- 
ness of youth is scarcely over when they pass 
with the greatest facility into sacred orders. In 
Borneo the Dyaks who become priests assume 
female names and dress, marry a man and a 
woman, — the former to accompany them and 
protect them in public. Further, the Aleout 
priest receives as pupils the fittest girls, perfects 
them in the art of dancing, of pleasures, and 
of love, and they become women magicians and 
priestesses" (Reclus, Les Primitifs, p. 83). 

To make priests and prophets, they subject the 
neophytes to special treatment, the priests select- 
ing them from the two sexes indifferently. They 
also apply to picked married couples to manufact- 
ure them by special treatment, — as fasting long 
and often, and eating certain foods and avoiding 
others. Scarcely is the expected child born than 
they gather around it and bathe it with urine 
and dung. When grown up, the novice must be 
left whole days silent, alone. He then passes 
through a series of initiations. To communicate 
with the spirits, he must at intervals absent him- 
self for a long time from the settlement, and 
should go hunting and fishing now and then 
alone. The farther they go in such a regime, 
the more do they become alienated. They do 



MEDIUMS IN SAVAGE TRIBES 143 

not know whether they are asleep or awake, take 
abstractions for realities, and create strong sym- 
pathies and violent antipathies around them. As 
among the yogis and fakirs of India and the 
shamans of Siberia, their supreme aspiration is 
to attain the rapt, trance-like state of ecstasy. 
They exhibit symptoms which may be classed with 
epilepsy. They possess strange lucidity of mind 
and hyperesthesia, and believe in the persecution 
of demons who come to torment them. During 
their prophetic fury they abandon themselves to 
strange convulsive contortions, to unearthly howl- 
ings, foaming at the mouth, with face and eyes 
so congested that for the time they lose their 
sight. If they get hold of knives, they now and 
then w r ound themselves or others. 

When all these initiations are passed, the se- 
lected individual becomes the magician (either 
" grand hangacoc " or " ancient hangacoc " ) . He 
assembles the members of the council, the jus- 
tices of the peace, the arbitrators in public and 
private affairs, the comic poet, the doctor. 

In the case of the Bilculas the initiation into 
medicine is accomplished with fastings and 
prayers; among the red Pollis, with fastings, 
dreams, and withdrawal into the forest and into 
solitude; among the black aborigines of Aus- 
tralia, by solitary search for the spirit of a dead 
doctor. It is the custom of the Indians of Gamina 
to have their candidate for the doctor's degree 



144 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

eat leaves of a special kind and live alone in the 
forest until the spirit appears. 

The future " medicine-men " of the Wascos, 
the Caiusos, and the Walla-Wallas begin their 
careers as early as the eighth or tenth year. 
They must sleep in a wigwam on the bare 
ground, where they receive the spirit under the 
strange form of a buffalo-like dog, who makes 
important revelations to them. When the spirit 
fails to appear, they must fast until it does ap- 
pear. They then impart to the head medicine- 
man what they have heard. 

Among the Xosa Kaffirs the candidate remains 
in solitude in his hut until there appear to him 
in his dream the images of leopards, serpents, 
lightning-birds. These assist him in his task. 
Lastly appears to him the ghost of the deceased 
chief, which makes him dance and become 
restless. 

In Sumatra the candidate must stay all day in 
a basket dangling aloft from the balcony of a 
house, and is furnished with a minimum of food. 
During the day he prays to the gods to make 
him invulnerable. If the basket sways to and 
fro, that means that the spirit has entered the 
candidate. Then they prick him and make holes 
in him with lance and sword, and the wounds 
cease to bleed and close up when he touches 
them with his hand. 

A special diet is prescribed to the thay-phap 



MEDIUMS IN SAVAGE TRIBES 145 

(prophet-doctor) of the Annamese. He is not 
allowed to eat the flesh of the ass or the buf- 
falo, but must always eat of a plant that has 
heart-shaped leaves. 

The gangas of Loango can drink only in cer- 
tain places and at certain hours of the day. They 
have their meat diet much restricted, the flesh 
of certain quadrupeds being prohibited. In 
compensation they may enjoy a good many 
vegetables. 

Another method is to incite convulsions and 
delirium by rapid motions of the head and by 
intoxicating substances. 

The sect of the Aissaui among the Arabs 
of Algiers owes its origin to Mohammed Ben 
Hissa in the ninth century. This man, chief of 
a caravan, girt about by all the dangers that 
spring from the desert, — isolation, the simoom, 
robbers, and hunger, — resorted to extraordinary 
expedients of religious fanaticism where human 
power was of no avail. When famine stared the 
caravan in the face, he ordered the eating of 
scorpions and serpents in the name of Allah; 
and when these failed he taught them the djedjeb, 
the prayers that make hunger dumb. The djed- 
jeb is a violent movement imparted to the head 
from left to right; the arms hang supine the 
while, and the bystanders keep time to the move- 
ments of the head and body. After an hour of 
such exercise there ensues a kind of fury and 



146 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

intoxication, which afterwards changes into a 
singular insensibility. 

But let us consider particulars of more impor- 
tance. The members of the sect are gathered in 
an appropriate room brilliantly lighted ; the musi- 
cians begin beating on two enormous drums two 
slow taps and one very rapid. Then the brethren 
(or Aissaui) accompany them in a barbarous 
chant : 

" Allah, Allah, Allah our Lord, Allah our Allah, 
Ben Hissah commanded to love Allah; the serpent 

obeys Allah; 
Ben Hissah makes me drink his remedy," etc. 

This chant, although foolish and inconclusive 
as are all the songs of the idolatrous ascetics, 
yet, from the point of view of a European, ex- 
cites a strange tremor, a boiling enthusiasm even 
in the veins of the most sceptical spectator. 

Next, those of the faithful who were most 
smitten, so to speak, swept along by the singing, 
fall into the djedjeb, or sacred convulsion. The 
chorus now ceases, but the drums continue to 
accompany the contortions of the madmen, who 
sing: 

" The head is exalted. Ben Hissah exalts it," etc. 

In proportion as the Aissaui circle about in their 
furious dance the blood is seen mounting to their 
faces and the veins of the neck visibly swell. The 
breathing is now only a kind of hiss through the 



MEDIUMS IN SAVAGE TRIBES 147 

tightly compressed windpipe. Every trace of 
singing disappears to give place to an inarticu- 
late sound which is the last effort of an ob- 
structed respiration. 

At this point in the proceedings the Aissaui 
seizes a bar of red-hot iron and strikes his brow 
and head with it, licks it with his tongue, bites 
it with his teeth. Says a distinguished traveller, 
" I have smelled the nauseous odor of the roasted 
live flesh of these fellows, and heard the crack- 
ling of their skin." So it was no illusion. Now 
Djedjeb becomes master of ceremonies. All are 
howling and running about, ferociously striking 
each other on the arms or shoulders. Some, on 
all fours, imitate the roaring of the lion and the 
cry of the camel. They ask from the chief some- 
thing to eat, and receive from him cactus leaves 
and live scorpions, which they devour with 
delight. 

An attache of the French consulate at Algiers, 
not believing his own eyes, promised gold to one 
of the sectaries if he would devour in his pres- 
ence a viper that had previously killed a cock 
and a hen. The Aissaui took the steps needed 
to get himself into djedjeb, and, having reached 
the point of supreme exaltation, ate the viper. 

There are four other sects in Algiers similar 
to this. The tenth or fifth part of the popula- 
tion of a city, and often the whole city, is ad- 
mitted to their ranks. 



i4& After death — what? 

A society as widely extended as it is fantastic 
and cruel exists at the present time among the 
negroes of San Domingo. It is the Voudou So- 
ciety. The origin of this word is unknown. Per- 
haps it is from vou, a serpent, and dou, a country. 
It is the name applied to the divinity, the insti- 
tution, and its devotees. At San Domingo the 
god is the ordinary snake; at New Orleans, the 
rattlesnake. But the deity is of purely African 
origin, and especially of the Congo and Juidala 
regions. The priest of the god, Papa Voudou, 
exercises extraordinary authority over all the 
adherents of the sect, the same in Haiti as in 
their native Congo region. At the end of the 
room where the Voudouists are assembled is 
the chest in which lies the serpent. At one side 
are " papa," and " mamma " the priestess, the 
latter wearing a great ragged red cloak (red 
being the pure symbol of the deity). Papa, plac- 
ing his foot and hand on the box, intones a bar- 
barous chant: 

" Eh, eh, Bomba hen hen, 
Canga basio te, 
Canga mouni de li." 

He communicates his excitement to " mamma," 
she to the whole circle of bystanders, who are 
agitated by lateral dancing movements in which 
head and shoulders seem to be dislocated. All 
the faithful are seized with a feverish exaltation. 
The whirling dance goes on in blind fury; the 



MEDIUMS IN SAVAGE TRIBES 149 

negroes become frenzied, sob, immerse their arms 
in boiling water, cut and slash their flesh with 
knife and finger-nails, have mortars placed on 
their backs and support strong men on them. 

Similar things have been observed among the 
Ottoman dervishes. Every convent of dervishes 
has its own special kind of sacred dance, or, better 
stated, of epileptic convulsions. Some pray, mak- 
ing lateral movements with the head ; others bow 
the body from left to right and from in front 
backward. But in the case of most of the mem- 
bers of convents, such as the Kufai, Cadris, Bey- 
rami, they hold themselves tight by the hand in 
a circle. They put the right foot forward, throw- 
ing new life and energy into every step. The 
Kufai begin with chanting " Allah," wag their 
heads from side to side, and, each putting his arms 
on the shoulders of his neighbor, they turn ever 
more rapidly, so that they soon fall down in the 
'haloth, or ecstasy. While in this stage they 
submit to the test of red-hot iron, slash them- 
selves with sabres, etc. 

Similar marvels are told in the Bible of the 
priests of Baal, and by Lucian, and the monu- 
ments of Nineveh attest their truth. In India 
the priests of Siva and of Durga repeat the same 
kind of convulsive movements, followed by simi- 
lar self-inflicted sufferings and (I would add) 
lascivious acts. 

The same things are noted still among the 



150 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

santons of Egypt. One of the most curious 
ceremonies is that practised by the howling der- 
vishes in Egypt, and called the sikr. It is per- 
formed by uttering the word " Allah," at the 
same time continually wagging the head. Shaken 
and weakened by such motions, their bodies fall 
to the floor, their faces congested, mouths foam- 
ing like epileptics; and during these frenzies, 
like the convulsionaries of Saint-Medard, they 
mutilate and burn their flesh. 

The coexistence of so extraordinary a custom 
among race-stocks so diverse and distant as the 
Semitic, Caucasian, and Hamitic, points to a 
source more profound and physiological than re- 
ligion, which, springing from the sentiment of 
the people, is modelled upon them rather than 
modelled by them, and hence is not uniform. 

On the contrary, we must place among the most 
characteristic tendencies of the human race the 
need of those artificial stimuli of the brain which 
we call intoxicants, and which increase in num- 
ber and refinement with the growth of evolution. 
The strangest substances, as we shall see, have 
been employed by man for this purpose, — wine, 
alcohol, manioc, the kola nut, soma, ghee, bitra, 
opium, and even acetic lactic acid (tartar), and 
injection through the nostrils of the niope of 
Kamtchatka. 

Peoples whose special life-conditions and train- 
ing (for instance, negroes and the Aissaui), or 



MEDIUMS IN SAVAGE TRIBES 151 

whose laws (the Mohammedans) do not permit 
the use of alcoholic drinks or similar substances, 
find substitutes in the lateral movement of the 
head, — the most primitive method of intoxica- 
tion that is known or possible. It is an actual 
fact that the lateral movement of the body and 
the head produces cerebral congestion. Any one 
who will make the experiment for a few minutes 
will be more than sure of it. The Annals of 
Medicine (1858), for example, contain registered 
cases of apoplexy and cerebral vertigo due to 
movements of this character. 

Once it was discovered that intoxication and 
convulsions could be brought on by these methods 
(conditions so anomalous that primitive folk were 
unable to explain them as other than avatars of 
the gods, as a new and sacred secondary per- 
sonality), they thereupon proceeded to make use 
of said methods to get into communication with 
the divinities in the same way that they made 
use of true epileptics and of madmen, and, later, 
of intoxicated persons. 

More frequently, indeed, they resorted to in- 
ebriating substances. The priests of ancient 
times, who were the first to note the action of 
fermented beverages on the mind, at first re- 
served them for themselves, declaring them 
sacred, just as, for the same reason, they de- 
clared epilepsy sacred. 

The legend runs that life arose from a drop 



152 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

of divine blood that fell to the earth, — the meth, 
or mead, drink of the Norse Sagas; from the 
blood of Quasio, the wisest of the gods. Osiris 
and Lyseus, or Dionysus, were gods, discoverers 
of the vine and originators of civilization. Bac- 
chus is the savior deity, the magician god, the 
physician god, a trace of whose great power still 
exists in the Italian oaths, " Blood of Bacchus ! " 
" Body of Bacchus ! " The Egyptians (see Rode) 
allowed wine only to their priests. Wine appears 
as a sacred liquor in their liturgies, libations, 
ablutions. 

The Hindu priest is called a drinker of soma. 
To the fermented juice of the asclepias plant 
(i.e., the soma) he attributed poetic inspiration, 
the courage of heroes, and the power of man to 
immortalize his life (namely, by drinking also the 
amrita, which is the same word as the ambrosia 
of the gods, — Greek am-brotos, Latin immor- 
talis; or, as was later said, aquavit <z, alcohol). 

The Rig Veda, viii. 48, says : " We have drunk 
the soma; we became immortal; we entered into 
the light." 

In one of the yasnas of Zoroaster's writings 
the juice of haoma (the same as soma) " defers 
death." 

The soma itself becomes a god, to be comforted 
or placated with fire. " Soma, thou who createst 
the Rishis, who bestowest blessings, who dost 
immortalize men and gods " (Rig Veda). 



MEDIUMS IN SAVAGE TRIBES 153 

The soma drink was permitted only to the 
Brahmins, just as in Peru the coca was allowed 
only to the descendants of the Incas, and, among 
the Chibchas, to the priests, who made use of it 
as a means of authenticating their power. Let 
it be noted that the soma is called in Sanskrit 
madhu, which in Zendic signifies " wine," a fact 
which links the Norse meth, the Lithuanian 
madus, and the Sanskrit mad to the Italian motto 
(insane). Note, too, that the Bacchic delirium 
is a prophetic power, the peculiar possession of 
the god, and that ^sculapius, the god of heal- 
ing, is the son of Bacchus. 

It would seem as if those who first noticed the 
beneficent and maleficent effects of wine created 
the legend of the tree of the knowledge of good 
and evil. We may suppose this tree was the 
apple-tree, from the fruit of which the first fer- 
mented liquors were made. 

The Assyrians had a sacred tree, the tree or 
plant of life. This was at first the asclepias, then 
the palm, from which latter a fermented liquor 
is made to-day. 

Among the Egyptians it was the ileus religio- 
sus, the fermented juice of which rendered the 
soul immortal. 

Others, to bring on the divine madness, re- 
sorted to hypnosis, to ecstasy, to the fumes of 
poisonous gases. 

The oracles of Delphi, Delos, Abae, Tegyra, 



154 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

etc., in Greece, were in the hands of the priests. 
It was their device to have one, two, or even 
three women, under the influence of hysteria, 
deliver the prophetic oracles, after they had been 
intoxicated by the fumes of the laurel or ema- 
nations of other gases. The Pythian priestess 
essentially prepared herself by ablutions, by fumi- 
gations of laurel, and by burnt barley. She sat 
on a basin placed on a tripod, which itself stood 
directly over a crevice in the rock. From out 
this crevice rose the fumes of intoxicating and 
poisonous gases (hydroerburic and hydrosul- 
phuric, Giacosa writes me) which enveloped the 
entire lower part of her body (Strabo, ix. 419) 
until she fell into the state of ecstasy or trance, 
sometimes eventuating in death. 

She often spoke in verse or raved in discon- 
nected nonsensical sentences, to which the priests 
gave appropriate meaning and even a rhythmic 
form, attaching to themselves for that purpose 
special poets. " In a dark and narrow recess 
of a cliff at Delphi," writes Justinian, " there was 
a little open glade, and in this a hole, or cleft, 
in the earth, out of which blew a strong draft of 
air, straight up and out as if impelled by a wind, 
and which filled the minds of poets with mad- 
ness/' — " mentes vatum in vecordiam vertit " 
(Id. xxiv. 6; Cicero, De Divin., i. 3). At first 
the property of the gas was unknown. But cer- 
tain shepherds were in the habit of feeding their 



MEDIUMS IN SAVAGE TRIBES 155 

flocks there, and one day a she-goat fell into the 
cleft and was immediately taken with convul- 
sions. Now, undoubtedly, the superstition which 
(as in the case of djedjeb also) saw an intimate 
relation between convulsions and the divine in- 
spiration, thereby consecrating epileptics as sa- 
cred beings, gave rise to the idea of employing 
these intoxicating vapors at Delphi for produc- 
ing prophecy. In fact, they were at first associ- 
ated with Bacchic intoxication. Some Pythian 
priestesses were Thuiadi, or Bacchantes, devotees 
of Dionysus (or Bacchus), and Dionysus, ac- 
cording to legend, dwelt a long time at Delphi. 

Wherever gas escaped from the earth there 
were these oracles inspired by the intoxicating 
fumes, — for instance, at Lake Avernus, Hera- 
clea, and Phigaleia, places which, believing them- 
selves on this account in communication with 
Hades, claimed to be places for the evocation of 
the dead, and (what is more simple) for the ine- 
briation, or intoxication, of the living, who thus 
became interpreters of the dead, or necromancers. 

Thus the pathological, epilepsoid origin of the 
medium is attested by the universal consensus of 
all ancient and barbarous peoples, — a consensus 
carried to the point of adoration of epilepsy and 
to the artificial creation of epileptics in order 
thereby to secure a prophet, who is the genius 
of primitive peoples. 



CHAPTER VI 

Limitations of the Power of the Medium 

The foregoing facts prove the great influence of 
the medium in spiritistic phenomena, — an influ- 
ence which would seem to be the result of the 
projection and transformation of his energy. 
But it would be an enormous exaggeration to 
believe that this explains all such phenomena, 
although at first blush such a statement may 
make us smile, when we take note of the me- 
dium's profound exhaustion after the seance, his 
loss of force and of weight, and the perpetual 
occurrence of the phenomena in the immediate 
vicinity of his own person. Thus it is entirely 
too easy a solution to suppose that, when the 
transmission of thought at a distance occurs, the 
cortical movement constituting thought is trans- 
mitted afar by the ether to a certain brain pre- 
disposed to another; that (as Ochorowicz puts 
it) the molecular motion of the brain (which is 
thought) is propagated around the thinker in the 
shape of ethereal vibrations, and, meeting a sec- 
ond brain, is again transformed into the original 
molecular movements and inscribes upon this 
brain the thought of brain Number One; and 



LIMITATIONS OF THE MEDIUM 157 

that, as this force is transmittable, it is also 
transformable, and, from being psychic force, 
becomes motor force, and vice versa, especially 
since we have in the brain certain centres the 
special function of which is the presiding over 
movement and thought, and which, when they 
are irritated, as in the case of epileptics, provoke 
now violent movements of the joints and now 
the great inspirations of genius. 

Ermacora rightly calls my attention to the 
circumstance that the energy of vibratory mo- 
tion is in inverse ratio to the square of the dis- 
tance. Hence, if it be granted that transmissions 
of thought to short distances can be explained, yet 
it is hard to understand those cases of telepathy 
from one hemisphere of the earth to the other 
which some spiritistic manifestations afford. 
And it is difficult to understand how this vibra- 
tory motion [this " sightless courier of the air " j 
can pass to the organ of the percipient without 
waste, maintaining its long geographical paral- 
lelism of thousands of miles, starting as it does 
from an instrument not mounted on an immov- 
able base. 

If the exteriorization of motivity and of sense, 
which Rochas attributes to the medium, explains 
many mediumistic phenomena (as, for example, 
how the medium in the trance state can see 
things at a distance while he is in the dark and 
has his eyes closed, how he can feel the pricks 



158 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

or pinchings given to the phantasm, transport 
himself mentally and sometimes bodily to a dis- 
tant point, cause a body at a certain distance to 
act and move about by means of the fluidic ap- 
pendages of his double (see Chapter X), and 
even, perchance, give bodily shape to a phan- 
tasm, or, better, to an exact reproduction of his 
own body), — while, I say, exteriorization may 
account for these things, it still cannot explain 
the development in the medium of force and en- 
ergy much greater than is natural to him, and 
which we must suppose he acquires by his re- 
lation to the phantasm he evokes, nor can it 
explain the formation of phantasms absolutely 
different from his own body. 

As to the explication that has been proposed 
especially to fit the case of writing mediums, — 
namely, that only one hemisphere of their brain 
acts, preferably the right, while the left remains 
inert, thus explaining the unconsciousness of the 
right lobe, — an explication based on the extem- 
porized left-handedness of many of the mediums 
(Smith), — if it be granted that it helps to ex- 
plain automatism (see below), it yet does not 
serve in the case of those who write at one and 
the same time two communications, or even three. 
My readers will recall, as making against this 
hypothesis, the simultaneity and contemporaneity 
of certain phenomena in mediumistic seances. 

For instance, in a seance at Milan, while Eu- 



LIMITATIONS OF THE MEDIUM 159 

sapia was at the climax of her trance there ap- 
peared on the right — both to me and others 
near by — the image of a woman who spoke a 
word to me; in the centre of the room was 
Eusapia asleep; near me and above me the 
puffed-out curtain was blowing and swaying; at 
the same time, on the left, a small table in the 
cabinet was moving about, while out of the same 
a small object was by invisible means brought 
over the table in the centre of the main room. 

Again, at Genoa, Barzini suddenly feels an 
unknown hand moving in Eusapia's hair ; at the 
same time the left side of the portiere, or cur- 
tain, is bulged stiffly out by a fist, which moves 
forward, shaking the stuff of the curtain above 
the heads of the controllers who are standing 
around the medium; and simultaneously Boz- 
zano, three feet away, feels himself touched sev- 
eral times on the shoulder. 

" While some one behind me is touching me 
and leaning against me," writes Visani Scozzi 
{La Medianitdy p. 287), " I see in the window the 
profile of a person, and also another being touch- 
ing Mainardi." 

Dr. Imoda observed that, while a spectral form 
was taking a plume from the hand of Mr. Becker, 
another one was leaning his forehead on his 
(Imoda's) shoulder. 

On another occasion, while I was being ca- 
ressed by a phantasm, Princess Ruspoli felt her 



160 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

head touched by a hand, and Imoda had his own 
hand forcibly pressed by another hand. 

I have said that some mediums write with both 
hands at once, at the same time carrying on a 
conversation with a third person (see Aksakoff). 
Mansfield wrote simultaneously with both hands 
in two different languages, while speaking of 
other subjects with persons present; among other 
things he announced the death of Jacobs, which 
was taking place at that moment (Moses). 
Moses also once noted three instruments of sound 
operating at once in a seance, — trumpet, table, 
and drum. 

How can we explain the fact that the psychic 
force of a medium can not only be transformed 
into motor and sensory force, but simultaneously 
acts in three different directions and with three 
different purposes? And if it is impossible for 
a sane man, with senses undimmed, to turn his 
attention so fixedly in three different directions 
at once as to obtain objective phenomena, how 
is this possible for a medium in a state of evi- 
dent insensibility? 

Furthermore, there are things that take place 
against the will of the medium, and even of the 
so-called operating spirit. Having heard it as- 
serted that during a seance at the residence of 
the Duke of Abruzzi the table set about beating 
time, with all four of its feet, to the tune of 
the royal march, I said jestingly that at Turin 



LIMITATIONS OF THE MEDIUM 161 

even the tables and John King were monarch- 
ists. But I had hardly finished the sentence 
when the table began to protest the contrary, 
and with such resounding raps and blows that 
they could be understood even by profane out- 
siders inexpert in the typtological code. And 
when I said, " Oh, John, are n't you a monarchist, 
then?" he denied it vigorously with the usual 
two raps, — did so in several seances. It then 
occurred to me that possibly the idea might have 
emanated from Eusapia, especially since the Nea- 
politan populace is warmly attached to the mon- 
archy. Being quite intimate with her, I led the 
conversation up to the subject, and the poor little 
woman, who in her adventurous life has too often, 
and not always joyously, come into touch with 
princes and kings, reaffirmed that she had no 
opinions in politics, that she was not interested 
in kings, and that the government that she would 
prefer would be one that took thought for the 
poor, nor did she ever in her subsequent talks 
contradict herself. And not even to the Duke of 
Abruzzi, who remunerated her magnificently for 
the seance, was she grateful for anything, griev- 
ing that his Highness had not presented her his 
visiting-card and did not show her those cordial 
manners that others always exhibit. Hence we 
see that the monarchical manifestation did not 
emanate from Eusapia, nor from John, but was, on 
the contrary, in opposition to their predilections. 

ii 



162 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

"■Sometimes," observes Aksakoff, "the me- 
dium does not wish a certain name to be known, 
and yet the table reveals it. You are running 
over the alphabet and you get figures and words 
inverted or transposed with such rapidity that 
you cannot follow them or comprehend them. 

" At times the spirits oppose their wills to that 
of the medium. For instance, a son who was a 
medium wanted to put himself in communication 
with his mother; but she refused, communicat- 
ing to him typtologically, ' I don't want you to 
occupy yourself with Spiritualism ' " (Animisme 
et Spiritisme, Paris, 1906). 

Bozzano relates how that once, when he had 
proposed a second seance for the following day, 
Eusapia sharply opposed it, letting it be known 
that the too close succession of sittings exhausted 
her. But John not only protested that he wanted 
the sitting, but even went so far as to cuff her ! 

Aksakoff writes of a widower who founded 
a seance circle for the purpose of communicat- 
ing with his wife, — a circle of relatives who all 
desired it; but they were not able to communi- 
cate with her, although they succeeded in com- 
municating with others. 

Stainton Moses, a very religious medium, a 
theologian, very often found in his automatic 
writings atheistic and satanic sentiments. " Al- 
most all my automatic writings," he confesses, 
" were contrary to my convictions." 



LIMITATIONS OF THE MEDIUM 163 

Pious mediums have involuntarily written blas- 
phemies, obscenities, and a certain girl once con- 
fessed shameful things which she would rather 
have died than reveal. 

One day Eusapia said to Mr. R., " This phan- 
tasm is going to be for you/' and immediately 
after fell into a deep lethargy. Sure enough, a 
beautiful lady appeared, whose arms and shoul- 
ders were covered with the margins of the por- 
tieres, in such a way, however, as to allow their 
outlines to be divined. Her head was covered 
with a veil of finest material ; she breathed warm 
against the back of R/s hand, ran her hand 
through his hair, and gently bit his fingers. In 
the mean while Eusapia was uttering prolonged 
groans, revealing painful effort on her part ; but 
the groans ceased when the phantasm disap- 
peared. This lovely apparition was seen by two 
others present and returned several times. The 
attempt was then made to photograph it, with 
the permission of Eusapia and John. But the 
phantasm signified with head and hand that she 
was opposed to this, and twice broke the photo- 
graphic plates. She was then asked if she would 
allow the imprint of her hands to be taken; but 
this time also the ghostly visitor made repeated 
signs of denial both with head and hand, and, 
although Eusapia and John promised to make 
her yield to our wish, they did not succeed. At 
the last seance, however, Eusapia's promise as 



164 AFTER DEATH— WHAT? 

to this was very emphatic; the usual three taps 
several times signalled assent, and, sure enough, 
a hand was heard dipping itself in the liquid in 
the cabinet. After a few seconds R. had in his 
hand a block of paraffine with the imprint com- 
plete. But a fluidic hand reached out from the 
curtain and broke it into small pieces. 

It was a case, we afterwards learned, of a 
woman, a former mistress of R., living, but now 
indifferent, who had a great interest in not leav- 
ing proof of her identity. 

It is clear also from this case that, in spiritistic 
phenomena, a third will may intervene, which 
is not that of the medium nor of the sitters, but 
is opposed to the will of all these. 

The spirits also sometimes compel a medium 
to take a certain course when he himself is op- 
posed to it. Thus a certain extremely glutton- 
ous medium was forbidden by his attendant dai- 
mon to make use of flesh-food, tea, coffee, or 
tobacco. When he disobeyed orders, raps were 
heard in the table ; and, if he continued, the table 
opposed him. The result was that his health got 
to be completely re-established. But one day, 
when at sea he was about to smoke, the spirits 
threw him violently on the floor and drove a 
piece of the cigar into his mouth. 

A widow believed to be mad by her physician 
brother, who thought of having her taken to a 
convalescent home, was in the habit of abusing 



LIMITATIONS OF THE MEDIUM 165 

her mediumistic faculty. The spirits several times 
ordered her to be moderate. But she would not 
obey, and one day they commanded her to get 
into a barrel. Her brother, seeing her in that 
position, was confirmed in his opinion, and had 
her shut up in an asylum for the insane. When 
she complained of it to the spirits, they said: 
" We did it on purpose. In this way you will 
tranquillize your mind." 

These occurrences could be explained by ad- 
mitting that they were in part willed by the vic- 
tims because they redounded to their advantage. 
But cases are not rare of persons ferociously 
persecuted by the spirits to make them become 
mediums against their will. This was the very 
case with Dr. Dexter, a sceptic as to Spiritualism, 
and feeling a repugnance to occupying him- 
self with it, but compelled to do so by a series of 
persecutions. One night when he was studying, 
he felt two hands seize him by the arms and give 
a violent shock to his hand. He heard two very 
loud raps in the wall, followed by a typtological 
communication to the effect that the spirits were 
going to exert power over him. He absented 
himself from every spiritistic reunion; but the 
phenomena increased to such a degree as to sub- 
ject him to forcible levitation while he was in bed, 
nor did they cease until he agreed to become a 
medium. 

In the home of Harry Phelps, the young son 



1 66 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

of a Protestant bishop, chairs, tables, and large 
glowing firebrands began to move about ; clothes 
were cut to pieces, or inflated to the semblance of 
human bodies. Every day the lad went to school 
the noises and movements followed him there, so 
that he was obliged to stay at home. During a 
few weeks seventy-one different objects were 
broken beside little Harry. When he went out 
driving, stones fell in the carriage, thrown by in- 
visible hands, and the occurrences did not cease 
until he entered into typtological communication 
with the spirits. 

So far the persecutions described would seem 
to have some cause, though disproportionate. 
But cases are recounted of persecutions inflicted 
without any reason, — any apparent reason, at 
any rate. The Russian factor Schtehaporw re- 
lates (in Rebus, 1886) the persecutions to which 
he and his wife were subjected. In November, 
1870, there issued from the bed a red globe, which 
increased in size until it assumed the aspect of 
a huge balloon. Furniture was broken right and 
left. The unhappy married couple removed to 
the neighboring city to escape from the spirits; 
but hardly were they settled when the furniture 
began to dance a merry-go-round in the air. 
Knives, scissors, razors, were stuck in the doors 
and the walls. Garments and carpets would get 
into a state of spontaneous combustion; the 
clothes were burned on the woman's very back, 



LIMITATIONS OF THE MEDIUM 167 

though without pain to her; and finally the 
whole house burned down (AksakofI). 

We cannot be absolutely certain of the uncon- 
sciousness of the medium who provokes all these 
disasters ; but it must certainly be a case of force 
extraneous to his will, because it is inadmissible 
to believe that any person whatever would wish 
to provoke occurrences injurious to himself. 
Under this head must be classed the original 
founders of Spiritualism, the Fox family in 
America, whose first revelations were in the 
nature of violent persecutions which they sought 
to escape by flight. 

It is noteworthy that motorial and intellectual 
powers are manifested in the psychic trance 
which are very different from and much greater 
than the powers of the medium, and wholly 
incommensurate with these, and lead to the sup- 
position of the intervention of another intelli- 
gence, another energy. 

Thus, in respect to muscular energy, we have 
seen that several years ago the dynamometric 
force of Eusapia, corresponding to 36 kilograms, 
increased in full light, by the aid of a fluidic arm 
which she said was that of " John," to 42 kilo- 
grams; that is to say, there was an increase of 
6 kilograms. In these latter days, when she is 
afflicted with diabetes and albuminuria, and suf- 
fers exhaustion on account of too frequent se- 
ances, her dynamometric energy has fallen to 12 



1 68 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

and 15 kilograms. Now in a seance with Mor- 
selli at Genoa the medium's force registered on 
the dynamometer reached no kilograms, and in 
a sitting in Turin John developed force sufficient 
to break a table, — a force which we estimate 
as being at least 100 kilograms. And we may 
with certainty estimate at 80 the energy neces- 
sary to lift a table with the publisher Bocca 
seated on it, and at a much larger figure the 
dragging along for several seconds of Bottazzi 
and his chair, weighing both together 93 
kilograms. 

But if it is difficult to explain these phenomena 
as being solely the projection and transforma- 
tion of the psychic powers of the medium, what 
shall we say of those cases in which she is slowly 
lifted, with her chair, from the floor without mak- 
ing any effort with her feet, not merely without 
any support, but against the will of the control- 
lers, who rather seek to hinder her from rising? 

And how explain the levitation of Zuccarini 
(see Fig. 47) ; and of Home, who moves hori- 
zontally through the air around all the windows 
of a palace and is levitated while he lies in bed; 
or that of the Bari brothers, who traverse 45 
kilometres in 15 minutes? 

Here is the proper place to record the fact 
that the centre of gravity of a body cannot be 
changed spatially unless an external force acts 
Upon said body. Displacements of separate parts 



LIMITATIONS OF THE MEDIUM 169 

of the body may, to be sure, take place by the 
action of internal forces alone, but the dis- 
placements of these parts are such as to main- 
tain unaltered the position of their centre of 
gravity. 

It is therefore evident that, the chair and the 
medium constituting a single system in which 
every force emanating from the medium himself 
is an internal force, the phenomenon of levita- 
tion cannot be considered as a phenomenon pro- 
duced by energy proceeding from the medium, 
but ought to be deemed the result of some ex- 
ternal force. 

One more observation must be added to this 
proposition, an observation already macle by Bar- 
zini at Genoa, — namely, that the movements of 
objects do not take place at haphazard, but have 
a kind of orientation. Mandolins, drinking- 
glasses, water-bottles, chairs, move as if held by 
a hand; the mandolin has its handle turned 
toward the medium, the chairs seem to be 
dragged along by the top or shoulder. Nay, 
sometimes the fluidic hand has been visible in 
full light, and seen holding objects, picking the 
strings of the mandolin, beating the tambourine, 
lifting things from boxes, putting the metronome 
in movement without a key. And it was a hand 
much larger than Eusapia's, resembling that from 
which the imprints were obtained. 

It is true that the greater number of the motor 



170 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

phenomena, as well as the most intellectual and 
the most intense, emanate always from the im- 
mediate physical environment of the medium, 
especially from his left side, where, being left- 
handed in the trance, he is most powerful. It 
is true that these movements are preceded by 
synchronous movements on the part of the me- 
dium; it is true that we see at times, emerging 
in full light from the skirts or from the shoul- 
ders of such a medium as Eusapia, a fluidic limb 
that performs the function of an arm, and that 
acts, for instance, on the dynamometer. But the 
fact that the medium is a great aid to these forces 
does not compel us to believe that they are his 
or her exclusive creation. As to the synchronous 
movements, they repeat only what naturally takes 
place at the initial step of every exertion of en- 
ergy, of every movement, even of those to which 
another gives the inciting cause; as when, for 
example, the mother entices her babe, by the ges- 
tures of her arms as well as by the voice, to come 
to her. And yet it would not occur to any one 
to affirm that by these gestures she effects the 
movements of the child. 

As to the matter of intelligence, how can we 
explain the medium's seeing in trance, in a dark 
room, with closed eyes, everything that takes 
place before, behind, and around her, whereas 
awake and in the light she can see only what 
takes place before her and on each side? 



LIMITATIONS OF THE MEDIUM 171 

Again, how explain, for example, the follow- 
ing occurrences? Eusapia is almost illiterate, 
spells out a printed page with difficulty, and does 
not understand handwriting unless it is read 
and explained to her. Now in a seance at Turin 
there entered the circle a young man with a 
bracelet in his pocket, and she not only divined 
that it was for her, not only succeeded by the 
aid of a fluidic hand at a distance of three feet 
from his hand in groping about his coat and ex- 
tracting the bracelet from his pocket and clasp- 
ing it on her own arm (her hands being all the 
while firmly held by controllers), but, on being 
asked what else the young man had in his pocket, 
replied, " A letter, and that letter contains a re- 
quest." Now the young student knew that he 
had on his person papers containing chemical 
formulae, but he did not remember at all a letter 
he had received from a person to whom he was 
indifferent, and much less did he know its con- 
tents, for he had not yet opened it. In full light 
the pocket of the student was turned inside out, 
and there indeed was the letter, in which some 
one asked him if he might come to see Eusapia. 
Now how could she, an illiterate person, not 
merely read the letter, but make a rapid sum- 
mary of its contents? In this case none of the 
living company present assisted her. And how 
could Miss Edmunds, of New York, declare to 
Evangelides in trance that his son was dying in 



172 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

Greece, — which was a fact, though so far as 
he knew the son was in perfect health? 

Once, at Venice, at the rooms of Professor 
Faifofer, a medium who did not know Latin all 
of a sudden dictated Sordidi sunt hie; pellenda 
sunt sordida ("There are nasty-minded people 
here; away with obscenity! "). No one knew at 
whom she had shot this arrow until the table in 
its usual typtological language gave notice that 
" such a one has a book." In fact, the person 
in question, on polite request, owned up to hav- 
ing in his pocket The Temple of Venus. Now I 
can understand that the Latin may have been 
suggested telepathically by some one of the 
learned gentlemen present; but who could have 
apprised the medium of the presence of that 
book? Is it logical to admit that it was the 
owner of it who not merely suggested to her the 
idea, but brought on himself the mortification 
of the public confession of what might seem a 
serious fault? None of those present suffered 
scruples of that kind. The reproof therefore 
must have come from some one outside of the 
circle who felt and thought in a manner differ- 
ent from them. 

Then, again, it seems to me a noteworthy cir- 
cumstance that at Milan, as well as Naples and 
Turin, John would always respond at once, — 
and preferably in English, which was understood 
by only one of those present and was an unknown 



LIMITATIONS OF THE MEDIUM 173 

tongue to the medium. In the experiments of 
Bottazzi, Arabic words were included; and, in 
New York, Greek, Hindu, etc., were spoken by 
Miss Laura. It is true that one of the company 
at a seance may serve as transmitter of new 
cognitions ; but is it not logical to infer that the 
medium who employs this language for the first 
time should feel great repugnance and make very 
slow headway in comprehending, speaking, and 
making use of it ? 

It has been observed that Eusapia has a great 
antipathy toward technical instruments of ex- 
perimentation and is completely ignorant of how 
they are manipulated. Now it is curious to note 
that in experiments in Genoa, Naples, and Turin 
John could close and open interrupters, press 
Marey's drums, adjust a stethoscope, and put a 
metronome in movement. 

And how explain the impromptu and very 
beautiful sculptures of Eusapia, who is entirely 
ignorant of the art of Pheidias? 

And in what way solve the mystery of the 
spirit of Spencer Stafford revealing the prin- 
ciple of the telephone to D'Esperance (who was 
ignorant of physics) thirty years before its 
discovery ? 

The novel of Edwin Drood, left incomplete by 
Dickens, was finished by the fourteen-year-old 
medium James, a mechanic, and almost unable 
to read. He did not believe in Spiritualism, but 



174 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

was besought by Dickens to continue the novel 
under his dictation. It is interesting to note that 
the orthography is English and not American, 
and to observe the frequent passing from the 
past tense to the present, — a special peculiarity 
of Dickens's style. James entered into a trance 
and saw Dickens fix him with his glance. He 
did not know what he was writing, but, when he 
awoke, found the floor littered with unnumbered 
manuscript slips, and on every page the writing 
was larger than on the one that preceded it 
(AksakorT). 

The American Spiritualists are quite proud 
of the philosophical book called Arcana of Nat- 
ure, which Buchner himself highly appreciated. 
When he sent his compliments regarding it to 
the author, Hudson Tuttle, the latter repulsed 
him, saying that he was only the medium to 
whom the book was dictated by a spirit. 

" For my part," writes Brofferio (op. cit., pp. 
141 et seq.), " I knew a writing medium to whom 
Boccaccio, Bruno, and Galileo dictated replies 
that for elevation of thought were assuredly more 
worthy of the greatness of that trio than on the 
level of the medium, and I could cite competent 
testimony to the fact." So the responses that 
Kant and Schopenhauer gave mediumistically to 
Hellenbach were not unworthy of Schopenhauer 
and Kant. Dante — or one who stood for him — 
dictated to Scaramuzza three cantos in terza 



LIMITATIONS OF THE MEDIUM 175 

rima. I read only a few strophes of these, but, 
so far as I can judge, they were very beautiful. 
Certainly the mere unaided medium, although 
strong in his own art, was not so in the poetic 
art. I will cite one more short example. An oc- 
cult intelligence who had taken the name, or 
pseudonym, " Manzoni " was invoked with some 
insistence by four experimenters whom I know, 
whose motives I have no reason to doubt, and 
whose names I can furnish in private. The re- 
sponse to the insistent request was, as I am told, 
this sextain: 

" Perche si spesso il fremito 
Delia tua mano audace 
Suole dal sonno togliere 
Di desiata pace 
Gli spiriti incorruttibili 
Di quei che f uro un di ? " 

(" Why does your bold but trembling hand so often 
arouse from the sleep of longed-for peace the incorrupt- 
ible spirits of those who one day lived? ") 

Barcas gave keen replies to D'Esperance on 
musical acoustics, and there was no technical 
proficient present. 

Although it is true that mediums for the most 
part put themselves in tune with their sitters and 
participate in their thoughts in such a way that, 
while it may seem they are inventing, they really 
very seldom discover things that are not already 
in the minds of the company present, yet there 
are cases in which this influence of the persons 



176 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

present must be absolutely rejected. The fre- 
quent apparitions that appear at the bedside of 
dying persons, no medium being present at all, 
is an argument that speaks against this theory 
of the invariable transmission of thought from 
bystanders. Then in the case of haunted houses, 
where suddenly chairs, tables, flasks, etc., begin 
to move around in whirling vortices, no one 
would speak of the power of mediums, the ques- 
tion being frequently one of uninhabited houses 
in which the mysterious phenomena sometimes 
perdure for several generations and even for 
centuries. 

Lapponi, a Catholic and physician to the popes, 
— hence an unimpeachable witness, — records 
the case of the child Alfred Pansini, who at the 
age of seven during spiritistic trances would 
speak with a voice not his own, precisely in the 
manner of a true orator, frequently speaking 
languages of which he had no knowledge 
(French, Latin, Greek), even going so far as 
to recite in a marvellous way entire cantos of the 
Divine Comedy. At the age of ten, with his 
brother Paul, aged eight, without knowing how 
or why, he saw himself transported in half an 
hour from Ruvo to Molfetta. Another day the 
two children found themselves, in a scant half- 
hour from Ruvo, seated in a boat at sea near 
Barletta. Another time, in ten minutes they 
were at a distance from Ruvo and in front of 



LIMITATIONS OF THE MEDIUM 177 

the house door of an uncle of theirs, before whom 
Alfred made the prediction that they would not 
be able to depart next day, not until fifteen days 
had elapsed. In fact, the next day the uncle's 
horse was taken ill. Then the aunt hired a car- 
riage to take back her nephews to Ruvo. But 
no sooner had they been reconsigned to their par- 
ents than they disappeared again, and again 
found themselves at Trani. Being sent back to 
Ruvo, they disappeared once more and found 
themselves at Bisceglie. Then, convinced that 
they were struggling in vain against superior 
powers, they betook themselves to Trani to await 
the expiration of the fifteen days (Ipnotismo e 
SpiritismOy Roma, 1906). 

There are mental communications showing 
new mental faculties which cannot be explained 
by transmission of thought from the sitters. 
Such is the case of that English boy who had 
never left Great Britain and yet wrote rapidly 
in Chinese characters; and of that French lady 
described by Richet, who wrote whole pages in 
Greek, although she had never learned even the 
Greek alphabet. 

Home one day told Soffietti that he saw 
near him the negro woman who had been his 
wet-nurse and who had saved his life when he 
was three and a half years old and was on 
the point of being drawn under a mill-wheel, 
— a circumstance that Soffietti had completely 

12 



178 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

forgotten and that was afterwards found to be 
true. 

At another time the medium Home mentioned 
to Pisk a portrait of his mother with a Bible 
on her knees. Pisk began to rummage through 
the house and finally discovered a daguerreotype, 
taken twenty years before, in which the mother 
was depicted in precisely the attitude mentioned. 
Now it was impossible that Home could ever 
have seen it, even if he was not ignorant of 
its existence (Myers and Berret, On Daniel 
Home, 1900). 

Still more important, both for their greater 
personal authority and in respect of the nature 
of the facts, are the observations of Stainton 
Moses (Spirit Teachings, etc.). Having entered 
into communication with a personality claiming 
to be one Home, born in 1710, the son of a 
music-master, and who stated by whom he had 
been educated and with whom he had been in- 
timate, Home undertook investigations, and found 
every specification to be most exact. Further- 
more, when he requested him to write for him 
the last line of Virgil's ^Eneid, this was repro- 
duced with accuracy. But, Moses being in doubt 
lest his (Moses') unconscious memory or his 
suggestion might have influenced him, he asked 
him to reproduce the last lines of page 94 of the 
last volume in the third row of his library, the 
very title of which he did not know. The lines 



LIMITATIONS OF THE MEDIUM 179 

specified were accurately written down. How is 
it possible to try to explain these performances 
by vestiges of unconscious cerebration if the ves- 
tiges themselves never existed? We may call 
them specimens of vision at a distance. But 
when the daughter of Mrs. Edmunds affirms that 
she has received a message from a certain 
woman named Debiel, who was then dead, — 
and it was true, though no one knew her, she 
having been five years in an insane asylum 
(AksakofT), — there can be no question in this 
case of vision at a distance in any degree what- 
ever. " A child entered into communication with 
us," writes Stainton Moses, " who gave the names 
of two of his brothers and the date of their 
death in India. No one knew them, and yet 
their names were verified by Valtser." 

Especially noteworthy is a narrative given by 
Aksakoff. He was experimenting with two me- 
diums seated at a table. The mediums were 
communicating the thoughts of a spirit, touching 
with the finger a small table that spelled out the 
letters of the alphabet. The Russian alphabet 
was called for, but the spirit wrote instead emek 
habaccha. " But that is not Russian/' said some 
one, " and it makes no sense." The table replied, 
" Vale of tears." " But what does that mean? " 
" It is a phrase," said the table, " from a learned 
Portuguese Hebrew named Sardovi." A He- 
brew dictionary was consulted and it was found 



180 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

that nemek habacha means " vale of tears," — a 
phrase found only in Psalm lxxxiii, which none 
of those present, not even Aksakoff, had ever 
read. But no trace was found of " Sardovi." 
On request the table corrected this name to 
" Cardosio." On consulting a biographical dic- 
tionary, it was found that a certain physician 
named Cardoso had lived in the seventeenth cen- 
tury, and that he had really used as an in- 
scription on one of his books the words Nemek 
Habacha. Now how was it possible for this 
epigraph to be known by any of the company 
present, buried as it was, in a forgotten book 
written in a tongue so little known ? * 

Later, Moses wished to communicate in Greek. 
Among those present only the son-in-law of 
AksakofT knew this language, and there were 
found written the words o-cofiaTa avdpamaiv 
St/ccua €tcrt, which means " The bodies of men 
are just." Hippocrates has this very sentence to 
signify that the bodies of men are symmetrical. 
Now not one of the experimenters present had 
so much as read, much less studied, Hippocrates. 

In 1887, at Vilna, a lady preceptress, Madame 
Stram, a writing medium, wrote as follows: 
" Lidia is here [Lidia had frequently appeared 
on other occasions] and Louis [her deceased 
brother] is also here, and wants to tell you that 

1 It might be a case of cryptomnesia, from the early studies of 
Aksakoff. 



LIMITATIONS OF THE MEDIUM 181 

your friend Duvanel has died of hemorrhage." 
Three days afterwards notification was received 
by letter at Vilna from Neuchatel of the death 
of Duvanel, who had been an aspirant for the 
hand of the preceptress, but had been refused 
(Aksakoff, p. 413). In this case there was 
neither clairvoyance nor unconscious telepathy 
to exert influence. 

But especially inexplicable as a part of the 
action of the medium are certain features or 
functions that rarely manifest themselves during 
trances, but yet do so occasionally, — such as 
vision and audition at a distance, the presenti- 
ment of the future, the knowledge of diseases, 
the chemical sense for medicinal substances and 
the instinct for remedies of which I gave in- 
stances (Chapter I) and shall give several more. 1 

AUTOMATISM 

The greater number of the actions of the psy- 
chic are automatic, as is proved by the stereo- 
typed character of the gestures, the uniform re- 
production of the same graceful movements, etc. 
(Morselli). In the case of the writing medium 
the automatism is very plain, because his hand 
is writing while his mind is elsewhere occupied 
with subjects quite different from those of which 
he is writing. 

It is quite probable that this automatism de- 

1 For the power of seeing through material substance, see Aksakoff, 
p. 457; vision at a distance, p. 452. 



1 82 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

pends upon something that has been hitherto 
little noticed; namely, that almost all of the 
spiritistic phenomena of the medium have their 
origin on the left side (D'Esperance, Eusapia, 
Politi), or are perceived on the left side even 
when they come from the right, and that sinis- 
trality is temporarily transmitted also to the 
controllers of the medium, — a sinistrality de- 
monstrable by dynamometric figures, which 
showed after a seance a diminution of 6 kilo- 
grams for the right and 14 for the left (Mor- 
selli). Hence it follows that in the trance the 
work of the right hemisphere of the brain pre- 
vails, the one least adapted to psychical work 
and which participates least in the activity of 
consciousness. 

Now, I ask, who animates this automaton? 
How reconcile with the automatism of the me- 
dium his multiplex activity and his artistic pro- 
ductivity ? Outside intervention is required ; and 
is not that of the spirit precisely what would be 
demanded, — a spirit for the most part power- 
less by itself, but which becomes powerful by 
associating itself with the living body of the me- 
dium under the conditions of the trance? It is 
in vain to assert that the unconscious action of 
the medium explains all; for when it is a ques- 
tion of a language, an art, totally unknown to 
the psychic, or medium, pray, what has this got 
to do with it? 



LIMITATIONS OF THE MEDIUM 183 

Because it is something analogous to automa- 
tism (and we are considering automatic acts), it 
will be well at this point to note the extraordi- 
nary precocity of some psychics. 

The child Alward not only moved tables too 
heavy for his normal strength, but made typto- 
logical communications. The child' Yencker gave 
replies with raps when two months old. At the 
age of five months and a half he advised the 
return to London from his villa, his residence 
there being injurious to him on account of the 
fatigue incurred in going and returning. The 
nephew of Seymour wrote automatically when 
nine days old; at the age of seven months he 
gave typtological communications (Aksakoff, 
Animisme, p. 351; Psichische Studien, 1877, 
p. 467). 

These are facts that could hardly receive cre- 
dence were they not confirmed by similar won- 
ders found among the Camisards. Camisard 
babes of fourteen or fifteen months, and even 
while still sucklings, will preach with the purest 
diction (De Vesme, Spiritisme, ii.). Vernet heard 
one of them, fourteen months old, speaking in 
pure French, although it could not yet walk. 
Bonnemere (Les Camisards, i860) and Figuier 
(Histoire du Merveilleux, ii. 404) think this pre- 
cocity to be the effect of religious exaltation; 
but this could not create a faculty that did not 
previously exist. 



1 84 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

Most potent, then, is the power of the medium 
in spiritistic matters, so much so that it explains 
the greater part of the phenomena, but not all; 
and the complete explanation can be found only 
by integrating the mediumistic force with an- 
other force, which, although it is more frag- 
mentary and transitory, yet acquires, by identi- 
fying itself with the medium, a greater potency. 
And this force, authenticated by the tradition of 
all ages and all peoples and by experimental ob- 
servation, is pointed out to us as found in the 
residual action of the dead. 



CHAPTER VII 

Phantasms and Apparitions of the Dead 

When we are treating of the phenomena of 
phantasms, or spectral apparitions, we are re- 
minded of Dante's counsel, — 

" Sempre a quel ver ch' ha faccia di menzogna 
De' l'uom chiuder le labbra quant' ei pote, 
Pero che senza colpa fa vergogna." 

Inferno, xvi. 124-126. 

(" Always to that truth which has an air of falsehood 
a man should close his lips, if possible ; for, though blame- 
less, he causes shame [to himself by telling what fails of 
securing credence].") 

In good sooth it is the best of advice, this, for 
one who wants to lead a quiet life, especially in 
the academic world, which has a propensity to 
dissimulate and deny intractable facts which do 
not admit of common and universal explanation, 
such as these very facts, that people are so shy 
of accepting, of an operant force that survives 
death. And yet I repeat, although it is danger- 
ous to do so, no other explanation applies to 
these facts (since the action of the medium is 
in many cases insufficient to account for them) 
except this, that the dead are still endowed with 
power (or, rather, assume it under the stimulus 



186 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

of the medium) sufficient to impart those ideas 
and perform those feats which the powers of the 
medium and of the experimenters in the seance 
do not suffice to explain. 

And just here I will recall the fact that primi- 
tive peoples, who believe in magicians and even 
manufacture them artificially, admit, to be sure, 
as I have already proved, a mighty power in 
these special mediums of theirs, but a power 
which is in great part based on the counsel and 
assistance of the spirits of the dead. In the 
potency of these ghostly beings all ancient peoples 
placed full credence (and this was perhaps the 
base and start of all the religions). Further- 
more, as we shall see later, almost all barbarous 
peoples, even to-day, hold to their belief in it 
with a tenacity and a uniformity which ought 
to be considered, if not a proof, yet an important 
indication of the truth (see Chapter VIII). 

Then, again, the replies, not rarely prophetic, 
though quite frequently vain and false, and most 
often in flat contradiction to the culture of the 
medium and the sitters, and the appearance in 
their presence of phantoms with such evident 
appearance of momentary life, can be explained 
(although the explanation naturally excites a 
shudder in the learned scientist) only by admit- 
ting that the presence of the medium in trance 
often induces the appearance and the activity 
more or less vigorous of beings, or personalities, 



PHANTASMS OF THE DEAD 187 

that do not belong to the living, but which for 
the nonce take on their semblance and assume 
many of their functions 

RADIO-ACTIVITY 

Yet, for all this, I would not undertake to 
overthrow the positivist theory. I do not pro- 
pose (need I say it?) to break a lance in defence 
of pure disembodied spirits, — which are, besides, 
beings of which we can form no conception, — 
but of bodies the substance of which is so subtile 
and refined as to be both imponderable and invis- 
ible except in special circumstances; such as the 
radio-active bodies, which have the power of 
emitting light and heat, and even other bodies 
(helium), without apparently losing any weight 
whatever. Now Lodge, in his address before the 
Society for Psychical Research in London, com- 
pares the materializations of spirits to " the mol- 
lusk, that can extract from water the material 
for its shell ; or to the animal, that can assimilate 
material for its nutriment and convert it into 
muscle, skin, bone, or feather. And so in the case 
of these living entities that ordinarily do not 
manifest themselves to our senses, although they 
are in constant rapport with our psychic world, 
possessing, as they must, a kind of etheric body 
(or, as we should rather say, radiant body), they 
are able temporarily to utilize the terrestrial mole- 



1 88 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

cules that surround them for the purpose of build- 
ing up a kind of material body capable of mani- 
festing itself to our senses." 

Let me recall here the many indications of this 
radio-active state of the medium in the presence 
of the entities that I may assume to be the dead, 
— such as the operating of the electroscope by 
Eusapia while holding her hands suspended at a 
distance from it of four inches (a radio-active 
phenomenon) ; the impression of four fingers 
made by her on a prepared photographic plate 
covered with three sheets of very dark paper; 
the phosphorescent clouds floating over the head 
of the same psychic, and issuing from the abdo- 
men of D'Esperance; the luminous bands and 
striations (taking shape in the form of spectral 
figures) that appear in the seances of Politi, Eu- 
sapia, and Randone (Luce ed Ombra, 1902) ; 1 
the lights in the form of stars, and of globes from 
60 to 70 centimetres in diameter, which do not 
burn and do not illuminate, which rise slowly, 
descend rapidly, frequently traverse space with 
rapidity, and are sometimes azure, sometimes 
green, or else yellowish (see Fig. 48), and re- 
spond at times to raps and frequently govern 
their movements as if intentionally, seeming as 
though they were projected and directed by a 
conducting wire, appearing at given hours for 
many years in succession without any influence 

1 See Fig. 48. 



PHANTASMS OF THE DEAD 189 

exerted on them by the medium (Aberden), and 
always moving from one point to another in equal 
times and in a true intentional direction, as at 
Berbenno and at Quargenta (Arch, di Psich., 
xviii. 266-422). 

To these phenomena must be added the fact 
of the reproduction in the dark of phantasmal 
markings and figures, such as the Count de Boul- 
let obtained with the medium Firman, and Reiners 
also with Firman. This has been confirmed anew 
by recent experiments at Turin in the presence 
of Eusapia. A photographic plate covered with 
three sheets of dark paper was held by Drs. Her- 
litzka and Foa above the head of the medium in 
front of the curtain of the cabinet in order to 
photograph a phantasm that had appeared there. 
But the operation was obstructed by a formidable 
hand that did not belong to any one present, in- 
cluding the medium, and which tried hard to 
snatch the plate from the hands of Foa for the 
purpose of breaking it, as it had already done in 
the case of other plates (and this also proves the 
presence at the seances of energetic wills opposed 
to those of the medium and the experimenters). 
Foa stoutly resisted three assaults, and, after the 
third one, withdrew the plate, which did not show 
a reproduction of the face of the phantasm, but 
four huge fingers unlike those of Eusapia and of 
Foa. 

This experiment, which should perhaps be con- 



190 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

nected with that mentioned above, of the impres- 
sion left by the hand of Eusapia on a photo- 
graphic plate, is indeed one of extraordinary 
value, because, leaving out of the account the 
radio-activity of Dr. Foa, 1 and that of the me- 
dium, because she was at a distance and her hand 
is entirely different, there remains the sole hy- 
pothesis that the radiations came directly from 
the incarnated body the image of which had been 
presented before, in the same way that imprints 
were previously obtained from similar phantas- 
mal beings in paraffine and gypsum, — imprints 
that bore no resemblance to the limbs or features 
of the medium. 

This is an experiment which brings us into very 
intimate relations, experimentally, with the phe- 
nomena, or, as I should rather say, with the so- 
called spiritistic organism, with those transitory 
and evanescent representatives of the life beyond 
of whose existence people wish, and do not wish, 
to admit the existence. It turns out, as I had 
already publicly stated some years ago, that those 
phantasmal bodies belong to some other state of 
matter, the radiant state, — a statement which 

1 The radio-activity of Foa is excluded because he, being an amateur 
photographer, has never noted the results of any action whatever of his 
fingers on hundreds of plates handled by him. It is a possible thing that 
during the seance with Madame Paladino his hand might have become 
radio-active. But then during the entire seance he had (and held long) 
in his hand three other plates upon none of which was to be seen the 
image of fingers. This excludes also the assumption that his fingers 
might have been fraudulently covered with radio-active substances. 



PHANTASMS OF THE DEAD 191 

has now at length got solid footing in science 
and which is not only the sole hypothesis that can 
reconcile the ancient universal belief in the per- 
sistence of certain phenomena of life after death 
with the postulates of science (which holds this 
truth to be self-evident, that without an organ 
there can be no function, and that there can be 
no functioning of an organ without loss of 
weight), but is also the only hypothesis that har- 
monizes with the phenomena we have under our 
eyes in spiritistic experiments. 

As a matter of fact, — except in rare cases, 
such as those of Katie King in London and Elea- 
nora at Barcelona, where these spirit forms 
remain among us for days and years, — we rarely 
see the face and body complete of these phan- 
tasms; most often we see only certain of the 
limbs (hands, arms, etc.), which detach them- 
selves from some part of the body of the medium, 
or from the curtain of the psychic cabinet, exhib- 
iting always an instinctive tendency to wrap 
themselves in the curtain as well as in their astral 
veil. When we touch them, we very rarely and 
only for a brief moment perceive any solid form. 
Usually we see emerging from the curtain or 
from the skirt of the medium a true fluidic body 
which is deflated and weakly dissolved when we 
apply pressure to it, but which not for that reason 
can we declare to be non-existent, but which 
rather, and precisely on that account, we should 



192 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

regard as incarnated in some material substance, 1 
and a substance which eludes our touch because 
it is more fluid, more subtile, than a common gas 
(the existence of which last substance was denied, 
by the way, not long ago ; and perhaps we would 
deny it still did not chemistry come to our aid). 
Evidently, however, these beings, or remnants 
of beings, would not possess the means whereby 
they could materialize themselves completely (in- 
carnate themselves) if they did not get the tempo- 
rary loan for their fluidic body from a part of 
the substance of the medium, who, while this is 
being done, is lying in a stupor, almost in the 
death-agony, through the loss of a part of the 
bodily substance. But borrowing from the power 
and the body of the psychic does not mean 
that the phantasm becomes identical with that 
personality. 

That which we think we comprehend when we 
speak of anything as incorporeal is only the 
product of a fictitious conception. We mean at 
the utmost a kind of attenuated stuff, or con- 
sistency, incapable of longer affecting our senses. 
Virgil, in order to reconcile in the mind of Dante 
the idea of his (Virgil's) own proper materiality, 

1 Barzini, in his Nd Mondo dei Misteri, expresses himself thus: 
"The curtain is inflated and empty. That which on one side seems a 
human body in relief, and (covered by the curtain) exhibits movements, 
on the other side is a hollow in the curtain. I touch the inflations of the 
curtain on the outside : under the stuff I recognize the cheeks, the nose, 
the forehead; when I touch the lips, I feel my thumb pressed by the 
teeth — and then, suddenly, the curtain is deflated." 



PHANTASMS OF THE DEAD 193 

which renders him visible to his companion, with 
the idea of his absolute transparency, says to 
him, — 

" Ora, se innanzi a me nulla s' adombra, 
Non ti maravigliar piu che de' cieli, 
Che T uno all' altro '1 raggio non ingombra." 

Purgatorio, iii. 28-30. 

("If now in front of me nothing casts a shadow, marvel 
not more than that which you marvel at in the heavens, 
one of which does not put any impediment in the way of 
another's darting through it a luminous ray." 1 ) 

Precisely so. The ether that fills all space is a 
substance, and yet is not directly perceptible. The 
very air, the elements of which are known, — its 
weight, density, elasticity, — is not habitually 
perceived by us as a corporeal entity. 

On the other hand, our senses possess a very 
limited extension of perceptivity when compared 
with the action of possible external forces. 
Sound waves, for example, are perceived by us 
in the interval between a minimum number of 
vibrations and a maximum number; outside of 
this sounds for us do not exist, rior, as a conse- 
quence of this, sonorous bodies. The same is true 
of light, in the vast realm of which all beyond the 
red and the violet rays escapes our perception. 

Hence the fact of the appearance of entire 
phantasms that took living form for a brief 

1 The allusion, as Fraticelli remarks, is to the revolving crystalline 
heavens, or planetary spheres (of the Ptolemaic hypothesis), supposed to 
be transparent. — Translator* 

*3 



194 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

period, and occasionally for a long time, under 
our very eyes, no longer remains completely in- 
comprehensible and unreducible to the grand laws 
of monism. At any rate, the thing has been 
proved over and over again. The case of Katie 
King, which was for three years under the obser- 
vation of the most eminent English experimenters, 
seems to me free from all suspicion, even as to 
that most mysterious and most controverted phe- 
nomenon, reincarnation. Florence Cook, without 
the existence of any predisposition on her part, 
felt impelled to take up the life of a psychic when 
still under fifteen, after having been present at a 
Spiritualistic seance at the house of a lady friend. 
On this occasion the table in her presence rose 
clear up to the ceiling of the room, and knocks 
and direct writing revealed her extraordinary 
power as a psychic. After a few seances the 
phantom form of a woman began to appear before 
her, palpably visible to all present. A trick be- 
ing suspected, the medium was bound and the 
bands sealed and she herself held immovable in 
a niche in a wall, like a mummy, and placed under 
the control of the well-known scientists Crookes, 
Wallace, and Varley. But for three years the 
phantasm continued to appear. She called herself 
Katie King (presumably the daughter of Eusa- 
pia's John King). She would write and speak, 
and was as tall as the psychic ; but whereas Flor- 
ence had long dark hair, Katie's was somewhat 




Fig. 49. Phantasmal Portrait of Katie King. 



PHANTASMS OF THE DEAD 195 

blond and was cut short. Her heart, auscultated 
by Crookes, showed 75 pulsations against the 
medium's 80. 

The apparition of Yolanda, under the medium- 
istic influence of D'Esperance, also continued for 
three years, and it was found possible to photo- 
graph her (see Figs. 49, 50). 

Marata, at Barcelona, in the fourth seance with 
the psychic Carmen Domingues, obtained the 
apparition of Eleanora, a phantasm completely 
materialized, who saluted the experimenters in 
a voice slightly veiled. She disappeared; then, 
after a few minutes, returned again, went in and 
out of the cabinet several times, and once re- 
mained among the experimenters for nearly an 
hour, showing herself possessed of an uncommon 
intelligence and disposition. During her appear- 
ances she sat down three or four times in a chair 
drawn out of the psychic's cabinet by herself, 
gave her hand to the spectators, allowed her 
chevelure of black hair to be touched, as also her 
white robe, which seemed to all as if made of the 
finest tulle and to gleam with luminous reflec- 
tions (AksakofY, Animisme, p. 620). 

In i860 Estella Marta appeared to her husband 
Livermore and continued so to appear for five 
years in succession, during 388 seances, held at 
night and in the dark, with the medium Katie 
Fox. Her materialization was gradual, being 
complete in the forty-third sitting. She was ac- 



196 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

companied by a " guide " calling himself Frank- 
lin, who, according to Spiritualistic tradition, was 
a great organizer of spiritistic reunions. This 
revenante could even endure the light, spoke a 
little, but oftener wrote, — directly, with her own 
hand, and in her own chirography; the writing 
was often in French, a language which the 
medium did not know. In 1866 she ceased to ap- 
pear in a materialized form, but yet continued to 
communicate messages and to allow spiritistic 
photographs to be taken. In one of these ap- 
peared a relative of hers. 

The phantasmal presentments of their own little 
children appeared to Vassallo and to Porro. 

I have myself been a witness of the complete 
materialization of my own mother, as I have 
related at length in Chapter II, where it was stated 
that Morselli's mother also appeared to him (in a 
seance with Eusapia), and more than once, but 
was of a fuller bust and with less correct man- 
ners, exhibiting a deportment not her own. She 
playfully bit him instead of kissing him, and held 
a regular conversation with him by gestures, 1 
pointing sorrowfully to his spectacles and his 
semi-baldness, as if she would make him under- 
stand how long a time had elapsed since she had 
left him a bold and beautiful youth. 

In a seance with Delanne in Algiers, Richet 

1 I get this from confessions made by him to the Countess Celesia and 
to lawyer Bocca a few days after the event. He afterwards denied it. 











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PHANTASMS OF THE DEAD 197 

was favored with several apparitions of an Arab 
phantasm called Benny Boa, who disappeared by 
sinking through the solid earth, then reappeared, 
pressed the hands of the spectators, and in re- 
sponse to a test with a solution of baryta showed 
that he breathed out carbonic acid gas, a thing 
that would assuredly have been impossible in the 
case of a mere semblance of a living being (as 
certain critics would suspect), nor could it have 
been arranged beforehand by a trickster. 

But we are able to draw a proof from our ad- 
versaries themselves. Morselli, in the rashness 
of his anti-spiritism, when confronted by the 
phantasm of the son of Vassallo and of the daugh- 
ter of Porro, puts forward the hypothesis that 
Eusapia had acquired previous information from 
the families as to their physical characteristics, 
or else had secured it from the subconscious states 
of the sitters and obeyed their wish (p. 408). 
But, if the latter form the rationale of the matter, 
how does it happen that Edmond and Eusapia 
could both cause phantasms of the acquaintances 
of certain people to appear before them on the 
very evening they had disembarked from ships 
that had borne them from distant lands ? and why 
did not Eusapia perceive all the characteristics 
of Morselli's mother in the depths of his sub- 
consciousness, and why could she not there obtain 
also correct ideas of the name ? Why did she not 
obey Morselli, who felt a positive repugnance to 



198 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

having his mother's spirit evoked by her necro- 
mantic wand? And, on the other hand, why in 
the world did she call up before Bozzano the 
image of his hated wife with whom he had been 
in litigation all his life ? for most assuredly he did 
not wish to see her after death ; and, further, she 
spoke to him in pure Genoese, a dialect that 
Eusapia does not know. Why, if we are to stand 
by his hypothesis, did she not reconstruct, clear 
and complete, the figure of Giacosa, which she 
could not only have read with great precision in 
the thought of the company present, especially 
in that of her illustrious son-in-law and friend 
Albertini, and whose portrait she must have seen 
on every street corner and in all the journals for 
months after her death? The hypothesis which 
has to serve for one has to serve for the others 
also; and, if it will not fit all, then we must lean 
to the other supposition, that the phantasms were 
produced by something more than the externali- 
zation of the thought of the medium or of that 
of the experimenters in the seance. 

But Morselli finds proof that that apparition 
was not his mother in its hesitation, and in the 
error made in pointing out his facial defect, — 
on the right instead of on the left, — and in only 
giving the initials of his name. He does not per- 
ceive, learned as he is in the world of matter, that 
the spirits, as Hodgson says, speak vilely (negro) ; 
that the errors he alludes to were those observed 



PHANTASMS OF THE DEAD 199 

in all the spirits evoked, and that, employing, as 
they do, the vocal mechanism of the medium in a 
rough way and with the uncertainty of those who 
are employing it for the first time, they always 
make these mistakes. He lays stress also upon 
the fact that the phantasm had a fuller bust than 
his mother, not remembering that the phantasms 
assume the words, gestures, and body of the 
medium. This should also have explained for 
him the vulgar habit of playfully biting the be- 
loved one which is common to all the other phan- 
tasms evoked by Eusapia and from whom they 
borrow it. 

The fact remains that some at least of these 
ghostly visitors appeared — and not for a few 
brief moments merely — with the entire body, 
which presented the features of weight, tempera- 
ture (see below), pulse-beats, and respiration. 
Of many of them the moral character could be 
fixed, — gentle, beneficent, apostolic, in the case 
of Katie King ; vain and babbling for Walter and 
Phinuit; grave, austere, and haughty for Impe- 
rator ; genial and ambitious for Pelham. Of two 
of them we possess portraits, taken together with 
those of their mediums and at the same time. 

The spirit personality called Yolanda was a 
semi-barbaric girl, without native genius, but 
very curious. When she first appeared out of the 
shadow world, she did not know what a chair 
was, but tried to sit on its back, and fell She did 



200 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

not exhibit any affection, and played with the chil- 
dren of Fidler because she was used to it. At 
the age of ten she barely knew a few letters of 
the alphabet, but had a great desire to be praised 
and approved. She knew at once the use of 
jewels. Her body was so real, so carnally femi- 
nine, that a person who took her for a real woman 
attempted to offer her an indignity, resulting in 
profound injury to the medium, to whom it caused 
an illness almost mortal (see D'Esperance). 

But the complete phantasm is rather rare, and 
the phenomenon is rounded out and completed 
by those fragments of phantasms — arms, hands, 
etc. — which appear in almost every psychic 
seance. And even if these apparitions, complete 
and incomplete, had not appeared, should we not 
have the proof of their presence and action in 
those intelligent phenomena and acts, sometimes 
aesthetic and artistic, which take place at a dis- 
tance from the medium, beyond her sphere of 
externalization, and which she has not the skill 
or competency to perform? 

It is in vain for Flammarion to say that nothing 
unusual or rare has been revealed by the spirits 
and mediums which did not already exist in the 
capacities of mediumistic experimenters. In op- 
position to this I present the following questions : 
In a sitting where no sculptor was present, with 
a medium who would not have known how to 
sculpture an egg, how could those marvellous 



PHANTASMS OF THE DEAD 201 

sculptures be formed which even artists do not 
feel they are capable of executing by long work? 
And how could those paintings, some of them 
truly marvellous, be formed? And how could 
Phinuit and Pelham produce predictions of 
events absolutely unforeseeable and which yet 
came true? 

On a smaller scale the same may be said of that 
series of intellectual acts, of little account to be 
sure, but which suppose the aid of the hand of 
another and of a skilled person, — such as the 
playing of a mandolin, of a violin, of a closed 
piano, — in all of which the difficulty is redoubled, 
because we cannot comprehend how the external- 
ization of the motive force of Eusapia could ac- 
complish results in which she herself could not 
succeed by employing her own normal woman's 
hand, however skilful she may be; nor how she 
plays a closed piano or a mandolin suspended in 
the air; nor how she can put in motion a closed 
metronome ; nor how knots can be made in a cord 
the ends of which are sealed together: whereas, 
on the other hand, we understand how those 
fluidic forms animated by the living body of the 
medium can perform these feats, and we can com- 
prehend how a spirit (more or less illuminated by 
intelligence) building itself up out of the body of 
Eusapia, or fusing itself with her body, can pro- 
duce intellectual results which Eusapia herself is 
not capable of accomplishing. 



202 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

Worth noting is the reply given me once by the 
just mentioned psychic when, seeing a paralytic 
before me who spoke inarticulately, I asked, " Do 
you think the dead still have the diseases they had 
when living?" " No," she replied, through the 
mind of John ; " but how could men understand 
them if they did not appear in the state in which 
they saw them at the moment of death?" 

On account of their great number and the pro- 
found earnestness with which they were gath- 
ered and examined, it behooves us at this point 
to mention the condensed records of phantasmal 
appearances studied in the magnificent work, 
Phantasms of the Living, by Gurney, Myers, and 
Podmore. 

Out of the 5705 persons subjected to examina- 
tion 96 had hallucinations. Of these, 44 con- 
cerned persons dead many years before; 13, per- 
sons dead within a short time previous; 23 (or 
1 in 248) had visual hallucinations of persons 
living, either sleeping or ill, and 1 in 40 of per- 
sons dead within the twelve hours. 

Inasmuch as these figures exceed a thousand 
times those of the laws of probability, and since 
the greater number of these apparitions were un- 
foreseen, and a certain number (93) seen by sev- 
eral persons at the same time and in various 
places, and many of them perceived by the sense 
of sight, of hearing, and of touch, we therefore 
have the practical certainty of the influence of 



PHANTASMS OF THE DEAD 203 

the dying or of the just dead upon the ephemeral 
phantasm which in the greater number of cases 
presents itself before us only once. 

And here note the curious circumstance 
that not rarely phantasms have been perceived 
also by domestic animals, which proves that they 
did not merely exist in the excited fancy of the 
human percipient. Samuel Johnson cites the case 
of horses that reared up when the horseman saw 
a spectral form. A " ghost " was seen in the air 
by two girls of thirteen and by a horse which 
shivered with fear and refused to go forward 
(Wallace, Miracles, p. 328). 

Zecchini had a little dog that would come forth 
from his sleeping-place and leap about and bark 
with joy every time that the spirit of the young 
child Emilio was evoked. Emilio had been his 
playfellow. In the year 1893 a certain Danish 
dog who had a great affection for Madame F. 
was seen all of a sudden, at 9.15 by the clock, to 
jump up from his sleeping-mat as if he saw some 
one he knew and liked, then hide himself terrified 
under the bed. It was the very hour in which the 
mistress of the house received notice that Ma- 
dame F. was dead. 

We must therefore, I repeat, reinforce the 
psychic power of the medium by another power, 
however transitory; namely, that of the dead, 
pointed out to us by the traditions of all 
times and of all peoples and by experimental 
observation. 



CHAPTER VIII 

Belief in the Spirits of the Dead among Savages 
and among Ancient Peoples 

Perhaps the proof that appeals to me with most 
insistent force is the universality of the belief 
among all peoples (at least in the humble classes, 
who are frequently nearer to the fountain of 
truth than they seem) in the existence not only 
of mediums or magicians (see Chapter V), but of 
spirits, and especially the souls of the dead, active, 
operant, — sometimes beneficently and sometimes 
malevolently, — fluttering around us in the at- 
mosphere, in houses, in the rocks, and who com- 
municate with men especially through the agency 
of magicians or mediums. 

To prove the universality of this belief, one 
needs only to weigh and ponder some of the data 
of that most excellent and erudite work, Le Spi- 
ritisme, by De Vesme. 

The Veddahs have not the faintest shadow of 
a religion; yet they believe in the survival of 
souls and offer food to the shades of the dead to 
ward off their wrath. The Hottentots have no 
idea of a future life or of gods. Their souls 
seem blank pages (said a missionary) in the mat- 



SPIRITS OF THE DEAD AMONG SAVAGES 205 

ter of religion ; but then many of them, according 
to Lichtenstein (Ratzel, Die menschlichen Ras- 
sen), believe that the dead leave behind them 
ghosts, frequently malevolent. The Tasmanians, 
according to Bouvich (Origin of the Tasma- 
nians), do not admit the existence of divinities, 
but people with spirits the rocks of the mountains, 
— malevolent spirits. 

According to Letourneau, when the negroes 
of Africa affirm that all is finished after death, 
they find it necessary to add, " except the terrible 
spectre of the phantasm/' 

Worship among primitive peoples, writes 
Alfred Molury, being reduced to the exorcism of 
spirits and to the adoration of the amulet, the 
priests teach neither morals nor pious works, but 
are simple sorcerers whose business it is to get 
into relation with the spirits so much dreaded 
(La Magie, cap. ii.). "Among the Fuegians, 
the Tasmanians, the Australians, the Hottentots, 
no temples or religious rites are to be seen/' 
says Letourneau (Evolution Religieuse, lib. iii.). 
" Religion consists in the belief in the existence 
of anthropomorphic or zoomorphic spirits that 
people the grottoes and the trees, and no one 
among primitive folk has any idea of communi- 
cating with them. Later man comes to fancy 
that gifts and genuflections may change the deci- 
sions of the gods, made in his image; and, since 
the divinities are wanderers through the air, they 



206 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

offer them a house of rest, which will later be- 
come the temple; and with the temple comes the 
priest, who either in good or in bad faith claims 
to possess the privilege of communicating with 
the spirits and of serving as a mediator between 
them and men." 

Dr. Shepley Part, who was on the Gold Coast 
and was there the witness of many spiritistic and 
telepathic phenomena, observed, in respect to the 
transmission of thought by unknown means, that 
there are individuals in that country who succeed 
in it at whatever distance, just as in transferring 
themselves from point to point. In a night march 
in a forest the caravan was preceded by a lumi- 
nous globe that fluttered along in the air up to 
the very gates of the city to which they were 
going. The negroes said it was the double of a 
spirit sent to them as a guide. 

One day the doctor was informed by the natives 
that, an hour and a half before, the governor had 
entered Kumassi, a town five days' march away. 
He asked a chief how he knew it, and the man 
said he had means of communication more rapid 
than ours, — methods that were the monopoly of 
a kind of secret society. But the doctor very soon 
understood that their clairvoyance was attained 
by very simple methods and by means of contin- 
ual practice. Yet there were very different de- 
grees of it: first, simple clairvoyance; second, 
a projection of the consciousness to a distance; 



SPIRITS OF THE DEAD AMONG SAVAGES 207 

third, the same, with the power of materializing 
the entity projected and transporting objects, in- 
cluding the body itself, — the last a gift bestowed, 
however, on very few. The doctor saw in certain 
cemeteries nebulous masses which the natives 
claimed were the phantasms of the dead. He 
visited an ancient fortification built by the Portu- 
guese in the seventeenth century, the temporary 
residence of the functionaries who make journeys 
to that region. One day, when one of these 
gentlemen was getting ready to go to dinner, he 
learned from his " boy " that a white man had 
come to take dinner, too. " Where in the devil 
is he?" said he. "He is sitting there at the 
table." And he pointed him out and described 
him and his Portuguese costume of the seven- 
teenth century. The gentleman saw nothing ; but 
the other negroes all affirmed that they saw it, and 
would not remain in the fort at night. 

Du Chaillu, in his Explorations and Advent- 
ures in Equatorial Africa, says that the inhabi- 
tants of Gaboon have no clear idea of future exist- 
ence, but believe that when a man dies he leaves 
behind him a ghostly form that survives for some 
time and haunts the place where the corpse was 
interred. 

Win wood Reade {Savage Africa) notes that 
in the Congo the sons often kill the mother, in 
order that, having become a potent spirit, she 
may lend them assistance. 



208 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

According to the Kaffirs, when a man dies he 
leaves behind him a sort of vaporous form re- 
sembling the shadow cast by his body when he 
lived (Bourchell, Travels, p. 550). In order to 
obtain a kind of guardian angel they select the 
spirit of a chief or of a friend, and invoke him 
when in great straits. 

In Madagascar, according to a native doctor 
named Ramisiras (Croyances Medicales du Ma- 
dagascar, 1904), " the superstition of the natives 
leads them to believe that the spirits of their an- 
cestors always remain in the midst of the living, 
whether to lend them succor or to do them harm ; 
hence their elaborate worship of the dead." 

Indeed, Dr. Dancet knew a magician of the 
Bora race who invoked the souls of a captain and 
a lieutenant who had died in battle four years 
previous. Neither he nor the other natives saw 
anything; but they heard in the empty hut the 
words of command, which the natives could not 
imitate, and the gun-shots and cries and blows. 
It all lasted about twenty-five minutes. 

When the Tuaregs of the Sahara, according 
to Duversie, set out on long expeditions, their 
women, in order to get news from them, go and 
sleep on the tombs of their dead, evoking them 
and obtaining from them information the truth 
of which is afterwards authenticated. The geog- 
rapher Pomponius Mela long before had observed 
the same thing. The Angelis, he says, know no 



SPIRITS OF THE DEAD AMONG SAVAGES 209 

other god than the spirits of the dead, and con- 
sult them as oracles. In order to have responses 
from them they sleep upon their tombs. 

Mary Kingsley, in a lecture upon " The Forms 
of Apparitions in Western Africa," testifies that 
there are few persons in that region who have 
not seen apparitions either of a god or of the 
spirits of the dead. As to the priests, they claim 
to be in continual relation with the spirits. Often 
a god will take possession of a priest and speak 
through his mouth, but with another voice. Prob- 
ably their more sensitive nervous system permits 
them to see things that we more obtuse races do 
not see. Their mind would in that case be a more 
sensitive photographic plate on which the world 
of spirits would be more readily impressed. 

The Bayaka in the vicinity of the Congo believe 
that after death the souls of warriors dwell in the 
air and appear to the living in dreams to com- 
plain of the mal-treatment or neglect of their 
tombs, and to ask for revenge on their slayer 
(Journal Anthrop. Inst., xxxvi. 1906). 

The Awemba of Central Africa hold that the 
shades of the departed (mipashi) wander about 
in the groves where they were buried. Sometimes 
they incarnate themselves in the body of a ser- 
pent, or appear to the faithful in sleep, but more 
frequently are related to the living through the 
intermediary of a female psychic or magician. 
These women mediums take their names, imitate 

14 



2 1 o AFTER DEATH — WHAT ? 

their acts, give themselves up to sacred dances, 
fall into ecstasies (uttering words which the phy- 
sician-priest alone interprets), and give useful 
information to the warriors and the hunters. 

The physician-priests are the mediums of dead 
criminals; they eat the bodies of enemies, and 
spread abroad homicide and madness (Journal 
Anthrop. Inst., xxxvi. 150. 1906). 

The Australians refrain from pronouncing the 
name of one who has died, for fear of raising 
his ghost. According to Dumont D'Urville 
(Voyage autour du Monde, ii.), they go to the 
graveyards at night to communicate with the 
dead. See also Perron D'Arc (Aventures en 
Australie, p. 173). At Tahiti, in the Marianne 
Islands, exorcism is practised, and the natives 
think the shades of the dead watch continually 
over them. The aborigines of New Zealand be- 
lieve in an intelligent and immaterial something 
belonging to a man slain in battle, and practise 
certain rites to shelter themselves from the re- 
venge his shade would take (Spencer). Judge 
Manning, of Kehapaheha, tells us about a real 
Spiritualistic seance among the Maoris. One of 
their chiefs having died in battle, by request of 
many friends the tounga, or priest, invoked his 
spirit in the central public building, where all the 
people were gathered together in the dark. The 
first thing they knew they heard the words : " I 
salute all, I salute my family, I salute my friends. 



SPIRITS OF THE DEAD AMONG SAVAGES 211 

Speak to me, you of my family." A brother of 
his said to him, "How do you feel?" "I am 
well," was the reply ; and, when requested to give 
news of the other dead, the spirit promised to 
impart their messages. He asked that a pig and 
his gun be given to the priest, to the great grief of 
the brother. It being known that he had written 
and afterwards hidden a diary of his tribe, he was 
asked where it was to be found. He indicated 
the hiding-place, and it was at once discovered 
there. 1 

Dumont D'Urville says that the priests of 
the Tonga Islands seem to repeat all the phe- 
nomena which the ancients observed in their 
pythonesses and sibyls and which magnetism re- 
produces. Marner saw in Tonga individuals 
under the inspiration of the divinity who could 
truly divine the future to the sound of the drum, 
as among the shamans of Siberia. 

Lafitte found that the American Indians be- 
lieved in spirits, or genii of the dead, with whom 
certain privileged persons could communicate. 
According to Schoolcraft (Indian Tribes), the 
Sioux feared so much the vengeance of the spirits 
that homicide was unknown among them. Mis- 
sionaries, in the volume entitled Lettres Edffi- 
antes, tell of cradles transported through the air 
to distant points by the order of a priest. The 
medicine-man, or magician, during consultations 

1 The Old New Zealand for a Pakeka, 1878. 



212 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

shakes the wigwam in which he sits, which by 
jerks and blows replies to questions, just as do 
the white man's seance tables. The divinations 
take place in a cylindrical cell made of oak bark, 
within the dark interior of which a man may 
stand upright. It corresponds to the mediumistic 
cabinet. Scarcely has the diviner entered when 
a great noise begins and voices are heard, one 
weak, the other very loud (that of the priest). 
The first, or weak, voice imparts the revelation. 

Judge Larrabe saw an Indian medicine-man 
construct three little wigwams of hides, each 
hardly large enough to hold a man. He placed 
them about two feet apart. In one he put his 
moccasins, in another his leggins, in the third 
himself. Every Indian who wished to speak with 
a deceased person applied to the medicine-man, 
and soon the tents began to be shaken and voices 
issued from all three even at the same time, but 
they could be interpreted only by the medicine- 
man. 

According to Fitzgibbons, the last governor of 
Bay Islands (Gibier, Spiritisme), there are many 
mediums among the American Indians, and they 
obtain better results than do our psychics. The 
spirits that choose them as the channel of their 
communications bear Spanish-American names, 
or affirm that they belong to the prehistoric races 
the remains of whose architecture are found im- 
bedded in the tropical forests of Central America, 



SPIRITS OF THE DEAD AMONG SAVAGES 213 

and whose cliff dwellings are seen on the mesas 
and in the canyons of the Colorado and the Rio 
Grande. 

But more curious still is the narrative of a cer- 
tain " Henry," prisoner of the Hurons during 
the war of 1750. In the councils of this warlike 
tribe the question came up, Ought they to accept 
a proposal made by Sir William Johnson to send 
their chiefs to Fort Niagara to conclude a peace ? 
The question at stake being one of the very 
highest importance, they wished to consult the 
spirit of one of their celebrated chiefs deceased, 
whose name was Great Turtle. This ghostly 
warrior manifested himself in the magic wig- 
wam, first by shaking it, and then by his voice. 
On being asked if there were many soldiers at 
the fort, he disappeared and then returned, say- 
ing there were very few, but that there were 
many of them along the river in small boats, and 
further said that if the chiefs went there they 
would be loaded down with presents. And all 
happened as the voice said. 1 

Judge Larrabe tells how once a merchant had 
been waiting many days for a clerk of his, when 

1 The locus classicus for the true incident in American pioneer life, 
here cited by Professor Lombroso, I had the hap to find after considerable 
search. It is Chapter XXI. of a valuable and not very common little 
monograph published in New York in 1809, and entitled Travels and 
Adventures in Canada and the Indian Territories, between the Years 1760 
and 1776, by Alexander Henry. The incident is told very interestingly 
in detail: the building of the magic wigwam, the entrance of the priest, 
the terrible hullabaloo of noises, and finally "the still small voice" of 
the spirit of "the chief that never lied " (Great Turtle). — Translator. 



214 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

a medicine-man said he would give him news of 
him. So he covered his head with his blanket and 
said, " At sunset your friend will be here." And 
it was so. 

The Esquimaux believe in spirits, the most 
potent of whom is a certain Cordarsuc, who has 
under him an army of inferior ghosts, many of 
whom are in the habit of putting themselves at the 
service of the magicians. 

Jacolliot relates of a certain fakir that, having 
performed various marvels, — such as flights 
through the air, departures from the body and 
returning, — he said, in reply to the question of 
Jacolliot as to how he could do such things: 
" I have nothing to do with it ; it is the spirits 
of your ancestors who do it. So true is it that 
I am going to set out and go a long way off, and 
the spirits alone will make you feel their power." 
And, in fact, when he was locked up in a room far 
from the palace, there occurred in the night a 
series of shocks (movements of tables and raps) 
that lasted till morning. 

Now this is the thing that convinces me, — the 
occurrence of the same affirmation in India and 
in America ; that in the one place as in the other 
the medium (or magician) is considered as the 
passive agent of the phenomena, while the spirit 
of the dead is the active operator, in spite of the 
fact that the very opposite would seem more nat- 
ural and more in accordance with verisimilitude. 



SPIRITS OF THE DEAD AMONG SAVAGES 215 

BELIEF IN THE SPIRITS OF THE DEAD IN TIME 

What we have seen as true in space, among 
the various peoples scattered over the surface of 
the globe, we might view also as occurrences in 
time, inasmuch as belief in the spirits of the dead 
has never suffered an interruption, from the ear- 
liest ages down to our day. 

" I say nothing of Egypt and of its Book of the 
Dead," writes Brofferio {Per lo Spiritismo, 
Bocca, 1903, pp. 112 et seq.) ; "nor of India, 
which believes more in the other world than in 
this ; nor of Persia, whose custom of calling forth 
the dead must have been imported, according to 
Varro (in Augus., Civitate D., vii. 35); nor of 
the necromancy of the Babylonians. 

" But it is known that the evocation of the dead 
was practised by the ancient Hebrews, since 
Deuteronomy forbids it (xviii. 10), and Saul con- 
sulted the spirit of Samuel called up by the Witch 
of Endor (Josephus, Jewish Antiq., vi. 14. 2). 
In Greece, not merely the vulgar believed in ap- 
paritions of the dead, but the philosophers, espe- 
cially the Platonists, and, first of all, the Pythago- 
reans. The latter went so far as to express 
wonder if any one said he had never seen a 
daimon (Apul., De Soc, c. 20, citing Aristotle). 
Even Democritus said that visible and audible 
phantasms appear to men (etSwXa Oecopovfjieva kolI 
<j>a)vas a<j)ievTa ; Sesto, Contro Mat., ix. 19; Cic, 



216 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

De Nat. Deor., i. 120), making announcement of 
future events. The evocation of the dead was 
a most ancient custom in Greece. So early as 
the time of the composition of the Iliad, Ulysses 
is represented as calling up the spirits of the dead 
{Odyssey, xi. 23-50), — about five centuries be- 
fore Simmias of Thebes, one of the characters in 
Plato's Phcedo, evoked the shade of Lysis, the 
teacher of Epaminondas (Plut, De Gen. Soc). 
The Eleusinian mysteries were probably, as Du 
Prel well says, necromantic ceremonies. It is 
certain that the xjjvxaycoyol (psychagogues, sum- 
moners of souls) made a practice of calling up 
the shades of the departed in certain temples. 
As early as the time of Herodotus that writer 
speaks (v. 92) of a veKvofxavTirjiov, or oracle of 
the dead, near the river Acheron, to which the 
tyrant Periandros sent, in order to question the 
spirit of his deceased wife Melissa, and she gave 
him a rational proof of her identity which de- 
cency hinders me from mentioning. It is certain, 
also, that Plotinus, Porphyry, and Jamblichus as- 
sert that the Alexandrian priests and philoso- 
phers called up spirits of every kind (theurgy, 
goezia, — witchcraft, — and necromancy). Wal- 
lace cites a passage from Jamblichus which seems 
like the description of a seance of the medium 
Home. 

" As to the Romans, the Mostellaria of Plautus 
proves that the vulgar believed in apparitions. 



SPIRITS OF THE DEAD AMONG SAVAGES 217 

Among the writers, Pliny, Suetonius, and five or 
six others speak of this. Both in the time of the 
republic and under the empire mediums sprinkled 
with blood practised the evocation of speaking 
phantasms from the abyss of Acheron, or Hades. 
Writers who show a knowledge of this are Cic- 
ero (Tusc, i. 37; In Vatinium, ii. 6); Horace 
(Sat., i. 8, 24, ss.) ; and Pliny (Hist. Nat., 30. 2). 
Lucan (Pharsal., vi. 452, ss.) describes the thing, 
the modus operandi. Several of the emperors 
were accused of it, among others Nero (Suet., 
Nero, 34) and Caracalla (Herodian, iv. 12. 3). 
There were even temples in Italy consecrated to 
this cult, the most celebrated of which was that 
of Lake Avernus at Misenum, spoken of by Vir- 
gil (JEneid, vi. 237) and Lucretius (vi. 740), 
and described by Maximus Tyrius (Diss., 

i 4 . 2)." 

In the same way other spiritistic phenomena 
— such as prediction of the future, typtology, 
incombustibility, levitation, immediate healing, 
xenoglossia, or " the gift of tongues " — we find 
duplicated in ancient times; for instance, among 
the Etruscans, and at the time of the Emperor 
Valens (emperor of the East), who put to 
death a certain Asiatic medium of Antioch who 
had typtologically predicted who should be his 



successor. 1 



1 And also took occasion to execute any other magicians and necro- 
mancers on whom he could lay his hands. — Translator. 



218 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

If we come down now to the Middle Ages and 
to Christianity, " Who can tell me," continues 
Brofferio, " how many souls have come from Pur- 
gatory to torment mortal men ? " And, on the 
other hand, referring to " blessed spirits," Bene- 
dict XIV says (De Serv. Dei Beat., iv. i. 32. 5), 
" Innumera sunt apparitionum exempla, quibus 
sancti se eternam consecutos fuisse felicitatem 
ostenderunt " ("Innumerable are the instances 
of apparitions by which the saints have shown 
that they have attained to eternal happiness"). 
Furthermore, it will be remembered that St. Fran- 
cis, St. Theresa, and St. Agnes gave proof of 
possessing the power of levitation. 

Needless to say, many in modern times also 
have believed in spiritism and the apparition of 
phantasms, even before Swedenborg, and in our 
time, also, before the famous occurrences that 
took place in the Fox family at Hydeville, New 
York, in 1848, and from which modern Spiritual- 
ism dates. Kiesewetter gives us an accurate list 
of those who have written about it (between six 
and seven hundred). Wallace, in Chambers's 
Cyclopedia (1892), refers to the following: 
" The long series of disorders and noises that 
took place in the old hall at Woodstock in 1649; 
those that happened to M. Mompesson at Red- 
worth, in 1 66 1 ; those of Ep worth, in 1716, in the 
family of Wesley, father of the founder of Meth- 
odism; the ghost of Cock Lane (case examined 



SPIRITS OF THE DEAD AMONG SAVAGES 219 

by Dr. Samuel Johnson, Bishop Percy, and other 
gentlemen) ; the extraordinary facts in the case 
of M. Jobson, in Sunderland, in 1839, which were 
studied and published by Dr. Clanny, member of 
the Royal Society, and certified as authentic by 
sixteen witnesses, among whom five were doctors 
and surgeons; and many less important occur- 
rences referred to in the works of William 
Howitt, Robert Dale Owen, Dr. Eugene Crowell, 
and others." 

Wallace cites only English examples, and 
knows nothing of those narrated by Du Prel, 
Perty, Jung Stilling, and a whole phalanx of 
German writers of this day, whose names the 
reader will find in the catalogue of Siegismund. 

Certain persons wished to present before Lo- 
dovico, the Moor, a youth through whose media- 
tion the spirits became visible, looking at men 
face to face. John Bee, the famous mathema- 
tician and astronomer at the Court of Queen Eliz- 
abeth, held a long series of spiritistic seances with 
the medium Kelley, and preserved reports of 
them, published in that day by Casaubon (1659). 
Cardano and Benvenuto Cellini possessed the 
mediumistic faculty. The former affirmed that 
he had spoken with the elemental spirits; the 
latter admits in the second book of his autobiog- 
raphy that he called up malignant spirits. 

Finally, in the phenomenon of the doubling of 
the personality ; in the levitation of sorcerers and 



220 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

their power to act at a distance ; in the divining- 
rod (noticed as early as the time of Paracelsus 
and of Agricola by those scholars, practically 
operated by the married couple Beausoleil in 
1635, procuring the discovery of 150 mineral 
veins, being employed by Breton in 1690, by Pa- 
rauguet in 1 760, by the abbot Daramel, — who 
in twenty-five years revealed by its aid 10,275 
springs of water, — and by Ajmar, to whom it 
revealed both springs and robbers), — in these 
things, I say, and in the epidemic convulsionaries 
of Louviers and of Loudun, who speak in strange 
tongues (Turkish, Arabic, Hebrew), predict the 
future and practise clairvoyance ; in the phenom- 
enon of the Camisard infants' prophesyings, and 
the existence of invulnerability and incombusti- 
bility among certain of the Camisard adults; in 
the phenomenon of the Quakers' inner light, and 
the convulsionary Jansenists of the cemetery of 
Saint-Medard, — in all these things we have rep- 
resentations in quasi-modern times, of the same 
phenomena that the spirits produce in the seance 
cabinets of our latest psychics. 



CHAPTER IX 

Identity 

Morselli is in error when he affirms that all the 
spirits that have revealed themselves up to the 
present time are either of obscure identity or 
hiding under a pseudonym, just for the reason 
that they are the creation of the medium. But 
take the case of the most important of all: it is 
certain that " Pelham " was Robinson ; and 
" Katie King " was Miss Annie Owen Morgan. 
It is a fact that many dislike to reveal their name, 
just as did Morselli's own mother, and disguise 
their identity under the cloak of a pseudonym ; but 
in intimate conversation, after figuring in many 
seances as " Imperator " or " Rector," they end 
by revealing themselves in their proper identity. 

It must be confessed that to fix the identity of 
phantasmal personalities amid the labyrinth of 
tricks, confusions, and errors of speech (errors, 
as we shall see, often involuntary) and to separate 
the part played by the subconsciousness of the 
seance psychic and of the experimenters, is often 
a difficult thing; but there are cases. in which it 
can be done. For example, the communications 
of Pelham have all the air of certainty. 

Pelham belonged to a prominent family in the 



222 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

United States, had studied law, but had after- 
wards given his whole time to literature and phi- 
losophy, and had published two excellent philo- 
sophical works. He had taken a great interest 
in psychical research, and had had many lively 
controversies with Hodgson on the survival of 
the soul, in which he did not believe, and had 
promised Hodgson that after death, if he could, 
he would try to communicate with him. 

He was acquainted with the power of the Bos- 
ton psychic, Mrs. Piper, having been present at 
some of her seances. In February of 1892 he had 
a fall from his horse which caused his death, he 
being still quite young. On March 12 he revealed 
himself to Mrs. Piper by automatic writing, his 
" guide," or spirit-control, being " Phinuit," who 
at first tried to stand in his way, but afterwards 
agreed to submit himself to his rule. 1 

Out of one hundred and fifty-six persons who 
frequented Mrs. Piper's meetings Pelham recog- 
nized thirty as friends of his, and had talks with 
each, alluding to their past and to their rela- 
tions together before his death, of which Mrs. 
Piper could certainly have had no knowledge, nor 
could she get it from the subconsciousness of 
those present. They therefore prove Pelham's 
personal identity. 

Thus he asked Howard if he was not occupied 

1 J. H. Hyslop, Science and a Future Life. Boston: Small, Maynard 
& Company. 



IDENTITY 223 

in writing on the immortality of the soul, and said 
to him, " I will solve the problems, Katherine." 
This sentence would not be understood by any 
one who did not know that years before a young 
girl named Katherine Howard had been discuss- 
ing space and eternity with him, and he had re- 
marked to her, " I will solve these problems, 
Katherine." To Miss Vance, member of a so- 
ciety for mutual improvement in writing, he 
asked, " Who corrects your productions now that 
I am no longer there? " and spoke to her of her 
brother, who had been his classmate at college, 
and of her summer residence that had a vine on 
one side and a swing on the other. He recog- 
nized John Hart's sleeve-buttons as his own, 
which he had given him before he died. " My 
mother took them from a small box," he added, 
and " gave them to my father, who sent them to 
you." Seeing a photograph, he remarked, " It is 
your summer residence, but there is an outbuild- 
ing lacking." In fact, a hen-house did not appear 
in the photograph. He asked Evelina, daughter 
of Howard, about a book he had given her, con- 
taining a dedication. Remembering that he had 
taken her to task for her mathematical incapacity, 
he said, " I will not plague you any more to-day; 
but would you be able«to tell us how much 2 + 2 
is?" 

They placed before him the first lines of the 
Lord's Prayer in Greek, and after long pertur- 



224 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

bation of mind he translated them (with the ex- 
ception of one line), although he had to call Stain- 
ton Moses to his assistance. 

Now Mrs. Piper does not know a word of 
Greek; and, if she had read it in the thought of 
any one present, she would have been able to 
translate the whole and not a part merely. I may 
add that an Hawaiian woman appeared to Mrs. 
Piper in her trance, and gave replies in three or 
four words in the Hawaiian language, a tongue 
which nobody present understood. This is suffi- 
cient answer to the objection urged by some that 
the psychic gets from the subconsciousness of her 
company the ideas and facts she lacks. 

Nor are these the only proofs of the identity 
of the departed that have been obtained through 
the intervention of Mrs. Piper by Hyslop, Lodge, 
and others. 

One day Mr. Lodge asked that his deceased 
uncle " Jerry " communicate with Mrs. Piper, 
and reveal some incident in his life; whereupon 
the uncle replied : " We were in a boat that upset, 
and we had to swim to shore. Ask your brother 
Robert about it." No one knew anything about 
the matter, — neither Mr. Lodge nor Mrs. Piper ; 
hence telepathy and cryptomnesia must be ex- 
cluded. But Robert, on being asked, remembered 
that they really had been in danger of drowning, 
not because the boat had been overturned (case 
of the usual errors of the spirits), but because 



IDENTITY 225 

after they had got out of the boat they began to 
box and fell into the water. Now all the sitters 
were ignorant of this thing. Jerry also remem- 
bered that his brother Frank when he was a lad 
had once climbed onto the roof of a shed or barn 
and hidden himself there ; for he had been strik- 
ing a boy named John, and had been threatened 
with punishment by his father, but had escaped 
him. All this turned out to be true, but no one 
present remembered it. 

Another proof of psychic identity is furnished 
by the communication of Mr. Hyslop's father, 
Robert. This gentleman had died in 1896. He 
had led a very retired life, being a sufferer from 
apoplexy, locomotor-ataxy, and from a cancer in 
the throat from which he afterwards died, and 
for thirty-five years he had not removed from the 
remote farmhouse where he was born. Relig- 
ious, parsimonious, narrow-minded, he was ac- 
customed to use in his speech a good many old 
saws and adages, which, it seems, he still em- 
ployed in the other world: "Don't worry, it 
does n't pay " ; " When you have n't got what you 
want, learn to do without it, and don't worry." 

Up to this point the psychic could have got her 
material from the minds of the company. But 
one day she uttered these words : " How is 
Tom?" The allusion was to a horse that had 
died many years ago, and about which the son, 
Dr. James Hyslop, knew no more than that, so 

*5 



226 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

that he was obliged to make an inquiry in order 
to be able to explain the question. Robert also 
asked where a black skull-cap was which he had 
used sometimes. The son knew nothing about it 
(he was the son of the first wife), but his step- 
mother authenticated the reference, and con- 
firmed the existence of a round bottle and a square 
block which he had kept in a drawer in his table, 
and to which he was continually recurring in his 
talks. " Do you remember the little black pen- 
knife with which I used to cut my nails and then 
put into my vest-pocket ? " The son knew noth- 
ing of this, either ; but the stepmother, on being 
asked, remembered it perfectly ; " only he used 
to put it into his trousers' pocket and not his vest- 
pocket." He spoke of one son who did not amount 
to much, but again said in way of recommenda- 
tion, " Don't worry." He recalled a Calvinistic 
preacher with whom he used to hold discussions 
on the future life. 

He said to the son, " You had ideas of your 
own, which belonged to you alone." This was a 
stereotyped remark of his when living. He died 
of cancer in the throat ; but, with the usual error 
of the spirits, he said to the son that he suffered 
from disease of the stomach, liver, and head, but, 
above all, of the heart. " It seemed to me that the 
stricture was so painful that I should choke; 
but I dropped asleep." It was ascertained that 
dyspnoea supervened when the beating of the 



IDENTITY 227 

heart was almost imperceptible, — which shows 
that even in the last moments of the death- 
struggle there may be consciousness. 

He went on to speak of a hedge that he wanted 
to repair, and of taxes he had not paid before he 
died. The same foolish trifles, little errors, in- 
stances of lack of precision, which are constantly 
observed in the speech of mediums and their 
guides, or controls, whether they appear in Stain- 
ton Moses, Madame D'Esperance, or Mrs. Piper, 
are really a proof of identity, since they are a 
peculiar characteristic of them all (see next chap- 
ter), being, in fact, just what we might expect, 
since we are concerned, not with complete or- 
ganisms, but fragments, which at best think and 
feel as we think and feel in dreams, and which, 
if they were of weak mind when living, we should 
expect to be so much the more so after death. 

More important, both for personal authority 
and for the nature of the facts, are the observa- 
tions of Stainton Moses {Spirit Teaching) which 
we have already presented, in Chapter VI, 
and others of which we now proceed to take 
note. 

" One day," he writes, " there appeared to me 
a spirit who said he was Dr. Dee, once chemist 
and alchemist, lecturer at the University of Paris 
at the time of Queen Elizabeth, who visited him 
at Mortlake, where he died." All of which was 
found to be true by Moses in unpublished manu- 



228 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

scripts at the British Museum. Another of his 
communicators, a certain Zachariah Gray, said 
he had been an ecclesiastic, and that he had writ- 
ten at Cambridge, in 1728, The Immoral Hudi- 
bras. He wrote in a curious chirography which 
could be and was proved to be authentic by com- 
paring it with manuscripts preserved in the Brit- 
ish Museum. 

The foregoing well-established cases help us to 
believe in other cases less well authenticated. For 
instance, we read that Halle received at the rooms 
of the medium Home a message from the daugh- 
ter of Robert Chambers. When asked to give a 
proof of her identity, she said, " Papa, my love," 
which were, in fact, the last words she uttered 
before dying. 

Knox communicated to Owen. He had been 
dead three years, and when alive had promised 
Owen, who did not believe in the soul, that if he 
continued to exist after the death of the body he 
would send him a message. Of this the medium 
knew nothing. 

Mori communicated to X a series of accidents 
that had happened to him in the Far West, and 
which his brother alone, living four hundred 
miles distant, could possibly know. 

The spirit of F. asked Barrett to bring him a 
certain thing from his house. Barrett went into 
the trance state, and presently there appeared on 
his table the photograph of a daughter of his. 



IDENTITY 229 

The photograph was in an album in a locked box 
of a bolted room. 

A gentleman named Dowe had a son who was 
a ship's doctor and had died at sea. The captain 
of the ship sent the father twenty-two pounds 
sterling, together with a watch, both the property 
of the son. Now the spirit of the son appeared 
in a seance and said that he had been poisoned 
with the essence of bitter almonds, mixed (instead 
of mint) in the castor oil that had been prescribed 
for him, and that he had left seventy pounds ster- 
ling, and not twenty-two. The truth of the state- 
ment was afterwards judicially verified. 

In 1857, in New York, a spirit-personality, un- 
known to everybody, appeared to the medium 
" Prosper/' The spirit said he was E. G. Cham- 
berlain, that he was about one hundred years old, 
had been a soldier, had eleven children, and had 
died in 1847 a ^ Point Pleasant, — all of which was 
found to be true, except only that he was one hun- 
dred and four instead of one hundred. (See 
Aksakoff, op. cit., on similar errors.) 

A Baron KorofT, who died in April, 1867, had 
made a will, but it could not be found. In July 
of 1867 the spirit of Prince Wittgenstein informed 
the family, through the mediation of a psychic, 
of the place where it could be found, and the 
psychic was ignorant of the fact that the place 
was not known (AksakofT, p. 569). 

Owen received this communication from " Vi- 



230 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

ola " at Naples : " I promised to remember you 
after death." She had, in truth, promised it 
twenty-two years before her death; but she had 
been dead forty years and no one remembered it, 
least of all the medium. 

At London, in 1874, says Aksakoff (p. 477), 
a medium had communications from Abram Flo- 
rentin, who said he had been a New Yorker, had 
died at the age of eighty-three years, one month, 
and seventeen days, and was an old soldier of 
the War of Independence in America. He gave 
violent wrenches to the table. He said he was 
happy to be freed from the miseries of life. The 
truth of all this was verified at Washington, and 
his widow said he was a violent man and had 
suffered much before dying. 

During a seance with Eusapia, writes Faifofer 
to me, their friend Mainella was missed. He 
had remained at Pellestrina. " So Dolci begged 
' John ' to carry him our greetings. Two days 
afterwards Mainella came to my house and asked 
me if two days previously, towards midnight, we 
had sent John to him; for he had scarcely got 
into bed when he felt his head being caressed, and, 
suspecting it might be his friend in the soul- 
realm, he received confirmation of the fact by 
three raps on the ceiling/' 

The death of Querini at Polo in the Orient 
was announced to Professor Faifofer two months 
before it was known in Italy. 



IDENTITY 231 

The death of Carducci was announced to him 
on the same day. " On the 18th of February, in 
the evening, our spirit-friends did not at once give 
us notice of their presence at our sitting, and we 
waited for them about half an hour. * Remigio,' 
on being asked the reason why they had delayed, 
replied : ' We are all in a state of agitation and 
confusion here. We have just come from a fes- 
tival — - of grief for you and joy for us. We have 
been present at the death-bed of Carducci/ " He 
had died that day and in that very hour, and the 
news had not yet arrived by the ordinary chan- 
nels (Faifofer, op. cit.). 

In Paris a seance table gave by the usual raps 
the Christian and family name of the spirit who 
was speaking, and then added that he had been 
a pharmacist in Quebec, a married man, and that 
one day he got to doubting whether he had not 
caused the death of a certain person by a mistake 
in putting up a prescription, and to brooding over 
the serious loss that might accrue to him if it was 
discovered. He confided his suspicion to a friend, 
who was unable to comfort him, and in the end 
he went and drowned himself in the St. Lorenzo. 
The truth of this communication was verified. 

Professor Faifofer — who, it is needless to say, 
is a most sagacious and illustrious investigator 
of natural and spiritual phenomena — again 
wrote me as follows : 

" Last September I was at Chiusaforte. The 



232 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

pythoness of the tripod said to me one evening, 
' A telegram has come from Turin for you — 
from Clelia/ I was not expecting a telegram; 
the hour was late, and, thinking if it were not 
some practical joke I should receive it in the 
morning, I gave no attention to the communica- 
tion. When the sitting was over, I went down 
to the kitchen and there found the postman wait- 
ing for me with a telegram. 

" I was present," continues Faifofer, " at a few 
seances in Chiusaforte, in order to please a cer- 
tain Signora Elisa Bien — . The signora was not 
able to be present at the second seance, in the 
course of which the table said to me, ' I loved 
Elisa/ When I asked the communicating spirit 
to tell me who he was, he refused, and begged me 
to say nothing about it to Signora Elisa. But 
after much coaxing he said his name was Gucone. 
When the signora learned this, she told me that 
before she was married (some forty years ago) 
this Gucone had been in love with her, but that 
through timidity he had not declared himself, 
except to a lady friend of hers, under promise of 
secrecy. He died soon after." 

Here is another case: A certain lady (M. R.) 
was asked typtologically by Schin — (who had 
seen her only once when she was a young girl) to 
tell her cousin Nicola to have nothing more to do 
with certain friends of his, for they would get him 
into trouble. She hesitated for some time to obey 



IDENTITY 233 

this injunction, but one day received this further 
communication from the same S., " It is too late 
now, and you will be sorry." As a matter of 
fact, the police arrested Nicola and condemned 
him as being affiliated with Nihilists. 

At a certain seance of the medium Madame 
Powel certain individuals wrote, unknown to her, 
the names of deceased persons on small slips of 
cardboard. One of the company present had 
begged the spirit of a lady acquaintance of his 
to prepare one of these for him, and without look- 
ing at it he mixed it with the others. Madame 
Powel pressed it against her forehead, turned 
pale, and swooned away. Presently she came to, 
and, lifting herself up, said (it was the spirit of 
the ladv who had written on the cardboard who 
was speaking through her voice), " Tell Mr. 
Slavick that it was not accident or suicide that 
led to her death, but assassination, and it was 
my husband who committed the deed. What I 
say can be verified, and the letters will be found 
that prove it. I am Mrs. Lanor." This was the 
name written on the cardboard, and mixed with 
others by a third person who was ignorant of the 
purport of the writing. It all turned out to be 
true, and her husband, Lanor, was arrested 
(AksakofT, p. 577). 

The medium Carven fell into a trance at a 
public meeting in New York, but, in place of 
speaking, she kept making signs with her hands. 



234 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

The communicating spirit was a deaf-mute who 
was speaking in the language of the deaf-mutes, 
— something of which the psychic was quite 
ignorant (AksakofT, p. 542). 

A personality named " Jack " once communi- 
cated typtologically that he owed a debt of $35 
and some cents and had a credit of $15 with a 
shoemaker named A. Fact verified. 

There was a schoolmaster who used often to 
feel an impulse to write automatically in the Latin 
tongue, although he did not know Latin at all. 
One day while he was footing it away from his 
native town, he felt his stick tremble in his 
hand. He relaxed his grasp and gave it free 
scope, whereupon it traced on the snow the words : 
" Turn back, your father died this morning. You 
will meet with R., who will give you information 
about it" He set out on his return to the village, 
and met R. on the way, who told him that his 
father had died by a fall from a barn. Later the 
schoolmaster fell ill and wrote with a pencil, 
" Day after to-morrow at three o'clock I shall 
die." He did die at the hour named (Gibier, op. 
cit.). 

Doubtless many of my readers will be aston- 
ished to see here cited and gathered together cases 
that seem almost to lack verisimilitude. But what 
renders them less doubtful is their mutual adapta- 
tion and interrelation, which are such as to make 
of them a complete and coherent whole. 



IDENTITY 235 

The case of Miss Laura Edmonds, daughter of 
Judge Edmonds, is a famous one in the United 
States. One dav when the artist Green intro- 
duced to her a Greek gentleman named Evan- 
gelis, she began to speak to the latter in Greek, 
and told him that one of his most intimate friends, 
brother of Bozzaris, the famous Greek patriot, 
had just presented himself to her and told her of 
the death of one of his sons whom he had left in 
Greece in perfect health. The Greek gentleman, 
ten days after, received confirmation of the sad 
news. The same medium announced that she had 
received messages from a certain Dabiel who had 
died. Verified. Dabiel had been for five years 
in an asylum for the insane and no one knew him. 

One day, says Myers {Personality, p. 282), 
between eleven o'clock and midnight, Mrs. Dade- 
son, while still awake, heard herself called byname 
three times, and saw the form of her mother (who 
had died sixteen years before) with two babies 
on her arm. She said to the daughter, " Take 
care of them, for now they are going to lose their 
mother." The next day she received the news 
that her relative had died from the effects of 
childbirth three months after having given birth 
to a second son. 

Again, a man was found dead far from home, 
with his clothes covered with mud, and wearing 
some other cleaner garments which had been sub- 
stituted for these. As soon as the news reached 



236 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

his home, one of his young daughters fell into a 
swoon, and, when she came to, she said she had 
seen the phantasm of her father with clothes on 
that were not his, and revealed the fact that a 
sum of money had been sewed into his own 
clothes. This fact was found to be true. The 
phantasm, then, had communicated two facts, 
one of which was known to himself alone, the 
other to very few. 

Twelve similar cases of the appearance of 
apparitions are collected in Phantasms of the 
Living. Of these, three appeared at the very 
moment the dying person was hovering between 
life and death. In the case of the others the prob- 
ability is that they appeared after death. It seems 
as if a promise made during life, or some other 
strong case of emotion, may influence the reve- 
nant. At any rate, such cases furnish most accu- 
rate proof of identity. 

In one instance a consumptive had promised 
the young lady, his betrothed, to appear to her 
without frightening her in case he should die. 
And so he did, indirectly, just after his death, 
though not to her, but to her sister while she was 
out driving, and it appeared that he was then on 
his death-bed, and died two days afterward 
(Myers, Personality, p. 286). 

Edwin Russell was on his way to sing bass in 
the church of St. Luke in San Francisco one Fri- 
day, when he fell in the street in an apoplectic 



IDENTITY 237 

fit. Three hours after his death the chapel- 
master Reeves, who knew nothing of his death, 
was visited by the ghost of Russell, who held 
one hand pressed to his forehead and in the other 
he had a roll of music. It is evident that his last 
thought had been that he would not be able to get 
to the meeting, and that in this way he was noti- 
fying Reeves of the fact (Proceedings Soc. Psy. 
R., viii. 214). 

It is well to note here the following revelations 
of Swedenborg, collected by Kant : 

Madame Marteville was asked to pay a debt 
of her deceased husband, whereas she remem- 
bered perfectly his having paid it. But, do 
what she could, she could not find the receipt for 
the amount paid, and this of course was the only 
thing that would free her from the annoyance. 
In the mean time, actuated by no other motive 
than the wish to see close at hand the Sweden- 
borg who had become so famous for his relations 
with the invisible world, she betook herself to 
him. On being asked by Madame Marteville 
if he had known her husband, Swedenborg re- 
plied that he had never seen him, because he 
had lived in London the whole time the deceased 
was in Stockholm. Eight days afterwards the 
spirit of her dead husband (a Hollander) ap- 
peared to her in a dream, and showed her where 
she would find a casket of finest workmanship, 
in which she would not only discover the receipt 



238 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

for which she had made so many hunts in vain, 
but also a magnificent pin of great value, adorned 
with twenty brilliants, which she believed to be 
also lost. She immediately got out of bed, lit the 
lamp, and ran to the place indicated by her hus- 
band. There, to her immense surprise, she found 
the casket, opened it, and found in it the receipt 
and the pin. Jubilant at having found it, she 
went to bed again, and did not rise till nine in the 
morning. She was hardly awake when her maid 
entered in haste to announce a visit from Sweden- 
borg. As soon as he came in, and without know- 
ing anything of the dream the lady had had, he 
told her that during the night he had conversed 
with many spirits, and among others with that of 
her deceased husband, with whom he would have 
liked to converse longer, but the spirit said he 
must visit his wife in order to reveal to her the 
whereabouts of a paper that was of the highest 
importance to her, and of a diamond breastpin 
that she thought lost. Swedenborg had called 
on the lady for the sole purpose of learning 
whether the spirit of her husband had appeared to 
her and whether he had actually afforded her 
the information of which he had spoken. 

For proofs of the identity of phantasmal ap- 
paritions take the case referred to by Robert 
Dale Owen (Crit. Exam. Existence Supernat.). 
It appears that on October 15, 1895, at nine 
o'clock a.m., while Captain Sherbrooke and Lieu- 



IDENTITY 239 

tenant Wynyard, both of the Twenty-third Regi- 
ment, at Sydney, were drinking their coffee in 
their dining-room, they perceived the figure of 
a young man that passed slowly into the bed- 
chamber. Wynyard suddenly exclaimed, " Great 
God ! it 's my brother John ! " Sherbrooke, who 
did not know him, scenting possible fraud, taking 
a lieutenant with him, investigated every room, 
but found nothing. Finally there came a mes- 
sage, announcing to Wynyard the death of his 
brother, which took place on the day and in the 
hour when they saw him. But there is more to 
be said : Sherbrooke, who had never known John 
Wynyard, recognized in England another brother 
by his resemblance to the phantasm that ap- 
peared before him at Sydney. The evidence is 
here derived from the circumstance that the same 
apparition was perceived by two persons, one of 
whom did not know the personality that appeared. 
Perhaps the case of the widow Wheatcroft 
speaks with still greater force. This lady, on 
the night of the 14th of November, 1857, at Cam- 
bridge, England, saw in a dream her husband in 
his uniform, but with his hair in disorder, face 
pale, his hands pressed against his breast, and on 
his countenance an expression of deep emotion. 
He tried to speak, but was unable to do so, though 
remaining visible about a minute. She related 
the event next day to her mother, and after some 
time received a telegram announcing the death 



240 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

of her husband as having taken place at Luck- 
now, in India, on the 15th of November. She 
told her solicitor Wilkinson that the date of the 
death in the official communication was certainly 
an error, that it must have occurred on the 14th, 
when she had seen the apparition. Now it is a 
singular thing that, a few days afterwards, the 
solicitor met with a noted medium (a woman) 
who said to him that she had seen at nine o'clock 
on the evening of the 14th of November the spec- 
tral apparition of a captain, who said he had been 
killed in India on that day afternoon. After new 
official investigation it turned out that he had 
indeed been killed in the afternoon of the 14th 
by the explosion of a bomb. Here, then, we have 
the case of an apparition presenting itself to the 
consciousness of two women, distant the one from 
the other, and the dates of the day and the hour 
of the two appearances and of the death were 
verified by a third person, and all coincided 
perfectly. 

The medium Mansfield said to one of those 
present at one of his seances, " Wolfe, did you 
know in Columbia a man named Jacobs? " Wolfe 
said he did, and the medium continued, " He is 
here and wishes to let you know that to-day his 
soul was separated from his body." Fact veri- 
fied. Here something was told that no one knew, 
— and it was not learned telepathically, because 
the medium did not know the dead man. 



IDENTITY 241 

Another case. A seance table around which 
were seated four or five persons gave token by 
its movements of the presence of a spirit. " Who 
are you ? " The table replied, by alphabetical 
taps, " Ben Walker/' One of the sitters — not 
the medium — knew this name and asked, " Ben 
Walker of St. Louis?" "Yes." "I did not 
know that you were dead. When did you die ? " 
The table rapped three times. " Do you mean 
that you died three days ago? " " Yes." (Truth 
of the statements verified by the questioner.) 

Sometimes the departed have revealed the 
whereabouts of objects laid away or hidden by 
them when living. Brofferio cites certain cases 
in which a dream revealed where would be found 
a receipt that had been anxiously sought for. A 
case of this kind is related by St. Augustine (De 
Cur a pro Mortuis Gerenda, c. ii.); another by 
Ernesti (Opuscula Or at., ix.); another by Dr. 
Kerner {Blatter aus Prevorst, v. 75) ; and others 
by Perty (Die mystischen Erscheinungen, ii. 
392) ; as well as that classic story of Dante's 
son to whom the father revealed where he had 
laid away the thirteenth canto of the Paradiso. 

The most curious is that reported by Macnish 
in his Philosophy of Sleep, p. 81. It appears that 
Mr. R., of Bowland, was called into court to 
compel him to pay a sum of money that his father 
had already paid and that he was asked to pay 
again. He sought for the receipt in vain among 

16 



242 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

the papers relating to the succession of the estate. 
The evening before the day fixed for the payment 
of the money having come, it was decided to pay 
on the morrow. But that night Mr. R. had no 
sooner got asleep than his father appeared to him 
and said : " The papers relative to this matter 
are in the hands of M., who has now retired from 
business and lives in Inveresk, near Edinburgh. 
I have recourse to him in this matter, although 
he never had charge of my affairs. If he has no 
recollection of it, recall to his mind that there 
was a little difference of opinion between us rela- 
tive to the exchange of a piece of Portuguese 
money, and that we agreed to drink the differ- 
ence at the tavern." Mr. R. thereupon went to 
Inveresk before going to Edinburgh, found the 
attorney, who had grown very old, and had for- 
gotten the whole thing. But the incident of the 
piece of gold recalled the past to his mind; he 
found the papers and thus gained the case. 

Brofferio was privately informed of the phan- 
tasm of a deceased lady who, through the inter- 
vention of a medium a trasfigurazione, 1 appeared 
unexpectedly to a certain individual, revealing to 
him in what place she had hidden, several years 
previously, her letters and her portrait. 

But there are also communications in the 



1 That is, as I understand it, a psychic who has the power of evoking 
a phantasm and materializing it out of his own corporeal substance. — 
Translator. 



IDENTITY 243 

nature of verifiable matters relating to persons 
dead centuries before, — matters which on ac- 
count of their small importance could not have 
been preserved either by history or by tradition. 
I find an instance of this kind in a communication 
made to a descendant of Sebastian Bach by an 
Italian musician named Baldassarini, who lived 
at the court of Henry III of France, — a com- 
munication too long to give here, but which the 
reader will find in the book of Delanne (Le Spi- 
ritisme devant la Science, pp. 399 et seq.). It is 
sufficient to say here that the particulars of this 
communication, in which Bach had no interest, 
were found to be true solely by means of a small 
strip of paper, found inside a spinet of 1664, and 
having inscribed on it four lines of verse in the 
handwriting of Henry III. The authenticity of 
the king's writing was proved by comparing the 
strip of paper with manuscripts of his existing in 
the Imperial Library. In this case there could 
not be telepathy, not even of an accidental kind; 
nor clairvoyance, not even that directed by un- 
conscious interest, not even by curiosity, since it 
was not a case of mediumistic experiment, but of 
voluntary communication. 

Many of these occurrences, when considered 
alone, may give rise to doubt, but viewed in the 
ensemble they become a solid reality and cer- 
tainty, — a certainty which arises from seeing 
life incidents revealed, small in themselves and 



244 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

unknown to everybody, but of supreme interest 
nevertheless, not to speak of the revelation of the 
whereabouts of hidden objects and of the complete 
identity of writings of the form of which the 
psychic was absolutely ignorant, the case being 
frequently one of writings of several centuries 
previous, etc. 

There are certain typtological communications 
that also furnish proofs of identity, the form of 
the dialogue often fragmentary and contradictory, 
and revealing admirably the tangle and confusion 
in the conversation of several persons at once, 
and always showing, furthermore, the intellect- 
ual status of the individual personality communi- 
cating; as, for example, when Statford, asked 
with reference to an anatomical question, seeks 
aid from the spirit of the eminent English anato- 
mist Willis, not being himself an anatomist, and 
when the spirit of the little girl " Nelly " says of 
an object in a sealed box that is presented to her : 
" The person who put it into the box did not feel 
well at that moment. Inanition. Delicate. She 
must be nourished. I don't know." Concerning 
this curious melange Mrs. Cartwright says, " Evi- 
dently Nelly was repeating the words like a par- 
rot ; and yet what she said was true, for the sub- 
ject of this dialogue was anaemic {Proceed. Soc. 
Psy. -R., xviii. p. 130). . And the same Mrs. Cart- 
wright, in another communication to " Pidding- 
ton," corrects a communication of the child Nelly 



IDENTITY 245 

about Bishop Benson, saying: " You ought not to 
allow her to chatter so. When she does it, you 
should send her to us." 

In these fragmentary dialogues between indi- 
viduals who correct each other there is such art- 
less testimony that it excludes the idea of fraud 
and completes the demonstration of identity. 



CHAPTER X 
Doubles 

The reality of the existence of phantasms, of 
beings summoned into existence before our eyes 
in spite of the date mihi ubi consistam, 1 seems less 
paradoxical if we admit, with the ancient Greeks 
and Romans, the existence of the so-called 
" double " of the body, — in Greek etSuXov, in 
English wraith, in German Doppelganger, in 
French double, — a phenomenon of which the 
legends of the ancients are full. But they had 
only a few instances of apparitions 2 and of 
dreams upon which to form their vague idea of 
the thing. But we, on the contrary, have a long 
series of clinical observations and experimental 
investigations, which, although when looked at 
one at a time may leave us in doubt, yet by their 
union acquire, like the stones in a mosaic, a certain 
appearance of solidity and integration. 

1 "Give me a foothold or fulcrum," — allusion to the saying attrib- 
uted to Archimedes, Abs ttov <tt& /cat tt)v yijv (or rbu Kbafiov) Kivqcrw, " Give 
me a fulcrum and I will move the world, or the universe." — Translator. 
2 The Church admits the fact in the case of St. Anthony, St. Peter, 
and many others, and gives it the special name of "bi-location." It is 
well known that when Rhoda reported the arrival of St. Peter, the friends 
said, "Are you mad? Don't you know that he is in prison? It must be 
his angel" [i.e. his doublel. — Acts oj the Apostles, xii. 13-15. 



DOUBLES 247 

The first experimental demonstration of the 
" double " is recorded in the investigations of 
Rochas, which are well known, though much dis- 
puted. He observed in certain sensitive subjects 
that not only their motivity (that is, the power of 
projecting and inciting movement), but their sen- 
sitivity itself, — which disappears during the 
magnetic, hypnotic, and mediumistic sleep, — is 
prolonged somewhat beyond the limits of the 
body. A first stratum of sensitivity follows the 
contour of the body and has a thickness of about 
an inch and a quarter to an inch and three quar- 
ters (3 or 4 centimetres). Around this, separated 
by intervals of from 6 to 7 centimetres, are other 
strata which succeed each other up to a distance 
of from 2 to 3 metres (say from 7 to 10 feet). 
Continuing the hypnosis still further, these sensi- 
tive strata become condensed into two poles of 
sensitivity, the one on the right and the other on 
the left of the patient. Finally, these two poles 
unite, and the sensitivity of the patient is now 
transferred to a kind of phantasmal enlargement 
of the body, — what one might liken to the gar- 
ment on a manikin, and which possesses the power 
of lengthening itself under the orders of the mag- 
netizer and passing through material objects 
while still preserving its power of sensation. Ac- 
cording to Rochas and Morselli, Eusapia was en- 
dowed with this remarkable power. The pricking 
of a pin was perceived by her at a distance of an 



248 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

inch and a quarter from her forearm, and about 
two and a half inches from the back of her left 
hand (Morselli, p. 213). 

The existence of these doubles, which would 
lend themselves so plainly to the explanation of 
many mediumistic performances, might be con- 
sidered proved (if the latter were worthy of com- 
plete belief) from the recent experiments of Dar- 
ville (Journal du Magnetisme, 1907- 1908). By 
means of " passes " and other magnetic practices 
he created a kind of double around two subjects, 
Ninette and Martha, whose motivity externalized 
itself reciprocally at a distance of several rooms, 
in such a way that one struck against the other at 
various points of the body, according to the order 
given. Furthermore, on continuing the experi- 
ments, he saw a true phantasm take shape around 
one of his subjects, at a distance of from 20 to 
24 inches, and which could be somewhat pro- 
longed. The constituent parts of this double ex- 
haled in the form of an effluvium from the fore- 
head, the bregma (or sinciput), the throat, the 
epigastrium, and even from the spleen of the 
medium. When it was dense, it took on the aspect 
of the patient and became more or less luminous. 
This double seemed tied to the body by a little 
cord which began at the navel or the bregma or 
the epigastrium ; it had the visual power of seeing 
through opaque bodies, and discerned what was 
going on at a distance; its apparent organs of 



DOUBLES 249 

sense took cognizance of taste, sight, touch, 
whereas with the true sensory organs the patient 
perceived nothing. When the phantasm (or 
double) approached, it excited a sensation such 
as that produced by cold, by blowing air, or by 
shivering. If the hand was placed in the phan- 
tasm, you felt a sensation of cold and humidity; 
in the dark the fingers appeared luminous. Some 
subjects, by means of this double, can produce 
raps and blows at a distance, and, like the Spirit- 
ualist psychics, open doors and boxes at a dis- 
tance, and the like. 

If the foregoing presentment is admitted to be 
fact, it would not be difficult to understand that, 
while the psychic activities of the body are dor- 
mant during sleep, the body's double might func- 
tion in its stead and dart swiftly away to far 
distant points. 

DOUBLES IN SLEEP 

Proofs of this, even to the point of experi- 
mental verification, seem to have been given to 
Dr. Hyslop in a case that happened in a hotel 
in Buffalo. One Sunday in the year 1907 
D. C. W. S. awoke out of a profound sleep with 
the impression of perceiving some one in his bed- 
chamber. In fact, being wide awake, he saw his 
wife at the foot of the bed in deshabille. He said, 
"What are you doing?" She replied, "I came 



250 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

to see about you," then approached him, embraced 
him, and disappeared. D. C. W. S. leaped out of 
bed, found the chamber dark, and lit the gas. 
In the morning he telegraphed to his wife, who 
replied, " We are all well." Returning home to 
New York after a few days, he was struck by the 
fact that his wife showed great interest in learn- 
ing whether he had slept well Sunday night. She 
finally confessed that (having read in Hadeson's 
Laws of Physical Phenomena that if a person, at 
the moment when he is just about to lose con- 
sciousness in sleep, fixes his thought upon another 
person and desires to present himself before that 
person under certain conditions, that person will 
have a vivid and exact impression of the visit) 
she thought she would make a practical trial of 
the experiment. So, after she had gone to bed 
Sunday night, she fixed her thought on appear- 
ing to him that night and embracing him. The 
lady, I may add, tried several times to renew the 
strange experience, but did not succeed. " I re- 
member," she said, " that I thought very hard 
and long before I went to sleep, and as long as 
I was conscious." She noticed, however, that the 
only thing that did not tally in her first experi- 
ment was the hour. She had the idea that the 
apparition ought to have appeared at eleven 
o'clock, but instead of that it appeared at seven 
in the morning {Jour. Amer. Soc. Phys., New 
York, 1907). 



DOUBLES 251 

DOUBLES IN TRANCE 

We pass now to consider the activity of 
the double in the trance, or mediumistic, state, 
whether by the medium's developing a double or 
by his transferring himself to a distance while in 
a sleeping or a hypnotic state. Crookes saw the 
double of Mrs. Fay hand him a book from a dis- 
tance of eight feet, and that, too, while she was 
tied to her chair. The daughter of Judge Ed- 
monds could send her double to persons who asked 
for her. Lewis, the magnetizer, was requested 
by R. to go to his house and touch the shoulders 
of two ladies. A messenger was sent to verify 
the thing. Everybody in the house was found to 
be in a state of great excitement owing to " a 
ghost" (the double of Lewis) having, in full 
light, touched the shoulders of a woman in the 
kitchen (see Wild, p. 515). 

Another case: a man named Bening was to 
give a lecture at T — . Not being able to send 
word in time that he could not go, he sent his 
double. This entity arrived at the club, made the 
signals agreed upon, said in low tones that he 
was not coming any more, and, when they were 
going to stop him while going downstairs, he 
sent his persecutors about their business with a 
couple of boxes on the ear, and disappeared. The 
matter was taken into court, but afterwards dis- 
missed (AksakofT). 



252 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

DOUBLES IN THE NORMAL STATE 

In Livonia, in 1845, m a girls' pension of forty- 
five pupils, one of the teachers, Madame Sage, 
was seen at the same time in two places. The two 
Sages were seated, — one at the blackboard, 
making a mathematical demonstration with the 
chalk, while the other had none. On another 
occasion Madame Sage was in the refectory eat- 
ing in the presence of all the scholars, while her 
double stood behind her chair without eating, but 
imitating all her gestures. One day she was ill 
in bed with a cold, and a friend of hers, Madame 
Wrangel, was keeping her company by reading 
to her from a book, when she was suddenly stu- 
pefied with fear to see Madame Sage's double 
walking about the room. 

Another day all the girls were working at their 
embroidery when they saw Madame Sage in the 
garden near by gathering flowers, while her 
double was seated in the hall in a large armchair, 
silent and motionless. Two girls went up to her 
and perceived that her body had a gaseous con- 
sistency, and little by little it gradually disap- 
peared. Madame Sage, who had at first been 
working in the garden, remained as if in a state 
of sleep, and, on being asked, said she had thought 
of the empty seat and had been in fear lest the 
children, missing her, would make too much 
noise. This continued eighteen months, and she 



DOUBLES 253 

was finally dismissed on account of it. When 
leaving, she said, " This is the nineteenth time I 
have had to leave for the same reason " ( Aksa- 
koff, p. 500). 

In the year 1828 Captain R. Bruce, while in 
his ship, bound for Newfoundland, suddenly saw 
in the cabin adjoining his a person unknown to 
him. He rushed out to give notice of it, but when 
he returned he found no one, but on the black- 
board was written, " Steer to the northwest." 
Since there was no harm in that, he did so, and, 
as they were going, they discovered a wrecked 
ship. Boarding her, Captain Bruce found within 
the person whom he had already seen in his cabin. 
He was a passenger who had waked up from a 
profound sleep saying, " We shall be saved," af- 
firming that he saw a ship that would come to 
their relief. He said he did not remember any- 
thing that occurred during his sleep, but that he 
found nothing to him unfamiliar in the succoring 
vessel; that he had had, he did not know why, a 
presentiment of being saved (R. Dale Owen, 
Footfalls on the Boundary of Another World, 
i860). 

Here is an instance from the life of our friend 
Eusapia : A nun, a former sweetheart of Signor 
R., appeared to him some ten times under the in- 
fluence of Eusapia, kissing him, speaking to him, 
but always absolutely refusing to have her photo- 
graph taken. She was living, and her normal 



254 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

body was asleep during these phantasmal visits. 
In Phantasms of the Living there is a collection 
of 629 cases of apparitions of the living. 

DOUBLES AMONG NEUROTICS 

The existence of the double was ascertained in 
the case of certain neurotics. Pailhas recently 
observed (Encephale, fasc. 2) doubling of the 
personality after sensorial and peripheral altera- 
tions, — for instance, phlegmon (or tumor) and 
erysipelas. 

Following are two cases sequent upon severe 
hemorrhages which afterwards produced excite- 
ments and cenestesi, states which were more ac- 
tive owing to the lowered vitality of the patient: 

A woman forty years old, after profound hem- 
atemesis 1 and insomnia, felt pains in her head 
and in the right side, in which latter injections 
of ergotine were made. She would see a part 
of her body lying on a second bed near hers, and 
would talk with this second /, and wanted the 
food given to it which was offered to her, saying, 
" Hand it to her: I am not suffering." Another 
woman after a severe intestinal hemorrhage had 
the impression of being double, — that is, of hav- 
ing two bodies. If her right leg was cold, it 
seemed to her that she had two cold right legs. 
If she felt a joint move, she believed that she put 

1 Vomiting of blood. — Translator. 



DOUBLES 255 

in motion two on the same side. The author 
observed two other similar cases in a neuropathic 
male patient who was sixty years old and' in a 
galloping consumption. While this man was 
sleeping, he felt the presence of another person 
beside him. When he was awake, he believed 
that it was his double. 

THE WRAITH IN THE NORMAL STATE 

Here may be mentioned the case of Goethe, 
who, on coming away on horseback from a field 
of battle, after experiencing deep emotion, per- 
ceived the apparition of his own double riding 
along beside him. 

George Sand wrote (see La Revue, 1908, p. 
J 35) : "I was persuaded that some one was with 
me. Not seeing any one, I studied this prodigy 
with immense pleasure. I marvelled at hearing 
my own name, coming from my own voice. The 
strange explanation came to me that I was double, 
— that there was another / about me that I could 
not see, but which always saw me, because it 
always replied to me. I told it to come, and it 
replied, ' Do thou come.' And it seemed to me 
to draw back and to approach when I changed my 
position." 

We may then say, after a survey of the fore- 
going strange phenomena, that the existence of 
the wraith, or double, is an ascertained fact for 
all the more or less anomalous states of the psyche, 



256 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

and especially in magnetic and hypnotic states. It 
further appears that the double has the power to 
go to a distance from its partner, and act with 
quasi-independence of the proper /. Is it not then 
probable that this double, just as tradition and 
the Greek philosophy assert, remains whole and 
perfect, capable of acting after death, standing 
for what the ancients called the anima, the phan- 
tasm of the dead ? 

The double may furnish an explanation of many 
spiritistic phenomena without having recourse to 
the spirits of the dead, substituting for these the 
action of the medium, — the body of the double, or 
a part of it, acting at a certain distance from the 
medium's living body, just as this itself would act. 
Perhaps to the double belong also those more or 
less incomplete limbs which are seen to emerge 
from the body (the shoulders or the skirts) of the 
medium; so also, perchance, with some of those 
floating hands or arms which exactly resemble 
those of the medium, so much so that they have 
given rise to suspicion of deceit. 

The double would also account for the visual 
power, and the perception the psychic has as to 
whatever takes place in the room in complete 
darkness; explains perhaps the strange phenom- 
enon of the transposition of the senses, by virtue 
of which a person sees without the proper eye y 
smells with the knee, feels with the nose (see 
Chapter I), etc.; and, finally, throws light upon 



DOUBLES 257 

one of the strangest phenomena of hysteria, which 
heretofore we have not been able to account for. 
It may also solve the problem of clairvoyance, 
and explain the power of seeing through opaque 
bodies, and the possibility of distinguishing by 
touch alone metals which externally present no 
differences whatever, and how the body of a sleep- 
ing person can project a counterpart of itself to a 
great distance. 

Finally, as we hinted, the double puts us in the 
way of comprehending the nature of the spirit 
of the dead; that is to say, how fluidic bodies 
(although that expression is not exact) can exist, 
and show, at least for a time, all the living facul- 
ties of the material body. The double, then, may 
be considered as the binding link between the 
psychic and the spirit of the dead ; but the action 
of the latter becomes more exclusive when it ap- 
pears as a true phantasm apart from the psychic, 
and when those arms and hands appear which 
have form and volume different from hers, and 
when there also appear actions such as the percep- 
tion of the future, pneumatography, and writing 
made with a pencil between two slates without 
the direct intervention of any hand and exhibiting 
the special handwriting of the deceased, — forms 
of energy which the medium cannot possess, and 
which are hence due either to the phantasm alone 
or to the union of that with the medium. 

17 



CHAPTER XI 
Transcendental Photographs and Plastiques 

The reality of the existence of phantasms and 
proof that they are not a subjective hallucinatory 
phenomenon are also afforded us by the so-called 
spirit photographs. 

In March, 1861, Mr. Mumler, head engraver in 
the firm of Bigelow, Kennard & Co. (jewellers 
in Boston, Massachusetts), employed his leisure 
hours in making photographs. One day he de- 
tected on one of his proofs a figure that did not 
belong to the group he was developing. He con- 
cluded from this that the plate must have received 
a previous impression, and that it must have been 
put by mistake among the new plates. But a sec- 
ond proof gave the same result, with an even more 
distinct appearance of a human form. It is prob- 
able that Mumler had obtained the first spirit 
photograph. 

The report of the wonderful thing spread 
rapidly, and very soon the unfortunate amateur 
was besieged by questions coming from every 
quarter. In order to satisfy the curiosity of 
people he was obliged to give two hours every day 



PHOTOGRAPHS AND PLASTIQUES 259 

to this new branch of experimentation. Finally, 
his clientele became so large that he had to give 
up his business as an engraver. Eminent persons 
posed before his camera incognito, and it was 
only afterwards that Mumler came sometimes to 
know them. It appears that the photographer 
agreed to all the conditions that his visitors 
exacted in the way of control, or verification. 

The forms that appeared in the picture were, 
if I am well informed, those of personalities the 
recollection of whom was occupying the mind of 
the person who was posing. 

Presently the eminent Boston photographer 
Black, inventor of the nitrate of silver bath, began 
to investigate Mumler's methods. Through the 
mediation of a friend who had just obtained proof 
of a phantasm, Mr. Black offered $50 to Mumler 
if he would agree to do his work in his presence. 
The offer was accepted, and Mr. Black made it a 
duty to examine with the most scrupulous and 
critical accuracy the objective, the plates, recep- 
tacles, and baths. He never once took his eyes 
from the plate during its preliminary preparation, 
and carried it himself into the dark chamber. 
Proceeding to develop it there, to his astonish- 
ment he saw a spectral form on the plate in the 
form of a man leaning on the shoulder of his 
friend. He carried away the negative and was 
so overwhelmed with amazement that he forgot 
at the time to pay his colleague. 



260 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

In consequence of this authentification of his 
work Mumler was encouraged to continue his 
demonstrations publicly, and for this purpose 
opened a gallery in New York, where he suc- 
ceeded in convincing his fellow-photographers 
Silver, Gurney, etc. Furthermore, he never re- 
fused to take his pictures in their own studios 
with their apparatus and their plates. The results 
were always the same. 

But one day Mumler was arrested in New York 
on accusation of sorcery and fraud. His prose- 
cutors were clamorous, but his friends brought 
many testimonials and he was released. 

Many at that time tried to imitate Mumler, with 
greater or less success. With us in Europe, John 
Beathie, of Clifton (Bristol), was eminent among 
them all for the constancy of his devotion. He 
was a man of proved honor and highly skilled in 
photographic matters. It was his desire to have 
the most complete verification, and by way of pre- 
caution he made his experiments in the laboratory 
of a fellow-photographer named Josty, and em- 
ployed an approved medium, Yutland. Nothing 
was obtained from the first seventeen poses, but 
in the eighteenth appeared a cloudy shape in the 
human form, and Beathie was encouraged to con- 
tinue his trials. 

In subsequent sittings they got nebulous im- 
ages, which by degrees grew more and more 
distinct as they proceeded in their experiments. 




Fig. 51. Spirit Photograph of a Woman buried in the Walls 
of Civita. Vecchia (which also appear in the Picture). 



PHOTOGRAPHS AND PLASTIQUES 261 

At first appeared stars, or a cone superimposed 
on another shorter cone ; then a cone in the shape 
of a bottle; then a star; next a luminous streak 
and a kind of luminous flying bird ; finally a hu- 
man figure. 

The medium would indicate what kind of an 
image was to be formed before it appeared, and 
then it would materialize, appearing always first 
upon his forehead or on his face. The images 
appeared on the plates with much greater rapidity 
than in the case of normal images, and also in a 
light which would not serve for ordinary plates 
(Psychische Studien, p. 389). 

Here also, as in other tests, it is evident that 
we are dealing with a substance invisible to the 
eye, and one that is self-luminous, and which 
reflects upon photographic plates rays of light 
to the action of which our retina is insensible, 
and which is formed in the presence of certain 
mediums, or psychics, and has such photo- 
chemical energy as to enforce the development 
of its own image before other images, and also 
has a progressive development. Thus in the first 
pose there is a star; in a second pose the star is 
transformed into a sun; in a third the sun is 
enlarged; in the fourth the sun is still larger, and 
out of it a human head unlimns — which proves 
the operant force of an intelligence that shapes 
these nebulous forms at will, as the artist shapes 
the clay. 



262 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

Guppy, Reeves, Russell, Slater, Wagner, had 
the same success. Slater, who was an optician 
and at the same time a skilled photographer, and 
possessed the mediumistic power, obtained the 
portrait of his sister, on one side of which ap- 
peared the head of Lord Brougham, and on the 
other that of his friend Owen, who had said while 
living that if the other world existed he would 
appear to him. In general these phantasmal por- 
traits do not appear in full length, but only as 
half-lengths, or at the most as far as the knees. 

The publisher Dowe had among his employees 
a young woman who died at the age of twenty- 
seven and to whom he was much attached. Seven 
days after her death a psychic told him that a 
beautiful girl wished to see him, and that she held 
a rose in her hand for him. A month afterwards, 
at Saratoga, he made the acquaintance of another 
psychic, who never had seen him before. As soon 
as she had touched him she wrote on the slate, 
" I am always with you," in the handwriting of 
the girl. " On my return to Boston," he writes, 
" I paid a visit to the medium Hardy, and by her 
aid obtained the apparition of my friend, who told 
me she had given me proofs of her identity at 
Saratoga, that she was always near me, and that 
she wanted to give me her portrait, asking me to 
go to Mumler, the spirit photographer. I did so, 
but announced myself under the name of Johnson. 
My friend appeared and said to me, ' How are 



PHOTOGRAPHS AND PLASTIQUES 263 

you, Johnson ? I never knew before that you were 
ashamed of your name.' 

" From the first two poses by Mumler nothing 
was obtained. At the third, during which Mrs. 
Mumler went into the trance state, my friend ap- 
peared and said to me, ' I shall be near you with 
my hand on your shoulder, and upon my head a 
crown of flowers/ I obtained the portrait pre- 
cisely as she had described." 

The foregoing is the case of one who was in 
fact a sceptic as to spirits and distrusted the pho- 
tograph. I selected this from among the photo- 
graphs of Mumler, because, inasmuch as legal 
proceedings were instituted against him, I wished 
to exclude those that were not very thoroughly 
substantiated by documentary evidence and that 
were secured when doubts about him were most 
rife. 

The photographer Hartmann obtained similar 
pictures, and, having been accused of trickery, 
succeeded in getting a committee from among his 
adversaries to be present at his experiments and 
to take part therein. 

What is most significant is the fact that these 
photographs not only continued to be made in 
spite of the noisy suits brought against the pho- 
tographers, but that they still continue to be pro- 
duced and are more and more diffused, even at 
this day. 

Take, for instance, the case of the girl Ran- 



264 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

done, a medium. On the 10th of September, 1901, 
Carreras found the girl Randone, fourteen years 
old, in a state of trance. Her brother observed 
the phantasm of a woman whose form partly hid 
that of his sister. Photographic apparatus being 
at hand, a picture was taken, and the developed 
plate showed not only the psychic, Randone, but 
the form of a girl wrapped in a veil, with abundant 
hair falling to her knees, and on the face the 
pallor and expression of death. Through the 
medium she said her name was Bebella, and that 
she was there to have her photograph taken. In 
November, 1901, the photographer Benedetto 
took the pictures of the Randones and of Signor 
Bettini by magnesium light. When the plates 
were developed, besides the figures of these per- 
sons there was seen a series of luminous and 
transparent bands (see Fig. 5, p. 16, Luce ed 
Ombra, Jan. 1, 1902). 

A few years ago Carreras, in Luce ed Ombra 
(1904, fasc. 1), gave some account of the two 
Randones (brother and sister), who are unprofes- 
sional mediums, unpaid, and of spotless honesty. 
Through them he obtained some very curious 
spirit photographs. Carreras had gone to the 
rooms of Signora Mazza, a neighbor of theirs, 
and had found there Signorina Randone not feel- 
ing very well. For this reason she begged him 
not to go to his office, but to stay and take part 
in a seance. Her brother Filippo, also feeling 



PHOTOGRAPHS AND PLASTIQUES 265 

indisposed, did not go to his office, and indeed ex- 
hibited that abnormal condition which is the fore- 
runner of trance. They retired to their flat, and 
Signora Mazza, who had concealed a photo- 
graphic camera in a wardrobe, went to fetch it. 
Not rinding it, she went down to ask the two Ran- 
dones about it. She knocked and knocked, but 
could get no answer ; nothing but this communi- 
cation by raps on the wall: "Photograph and 
silence." Half an hour later they went down to 
their room and found the two mediums asleep and 
amnestic, 1 Signorina Urania pale, livid, and 
groaning. Being with difficulty awakened, she 
could render account of nothing. Her brother, 
still in the trance, spoke in the name of a spirit 
named Cesare (who was often in the habit of 
visiting him), and who now said he had brought 
on the indisposition of the mediums to make them 
stay at home for the photographic seance, and 
that he had got one picture that was certainly 
good, that of Bebella, and another that had not 
turned out well. 

The camera was placed on a table and pointed 
toward Signorina Randone. The phantasm ob- 
tained had facial features completely different 
from those of the medium and showing that look 
of the last death-agony that characterizes the bas- 
reliefs of Eusapia Paladino's face. The plates 

1 Dissociated from their own personalities and their own past. — 
Translator. 



266 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

in the camera had been placed there some days 
before by Signora Mazza, who had bought them 
of a photographer. There had been no camera 
in the rooms of the two mediums and there had 
been no one there during the time that the camera 
had been there. In the lower left-hand corner of 
one of the accompanying photographs (Fig. 53) 
the reader will observe a folded arm with sleeve 
showing straight lines. It is the arm of the 
medium while she was in trance close to the 
phantasm. 

On another day the young man Randone ob- 
tained two photographs of the two ladies at a 
distance respectively of three and four feet (Fig. 
3, Luce ed Ombra). 
/; On the basis of the latest studies of Taylor 
and of Rochas (Photo g. Registra. of Spirit. 
Beings, "Luce ed Ombra" 1908, fasc. 9), spirit 
photographs are classified in the following 
categories : 

1. Portraits of spirits of the departed, and 
various limnings of flowers, lights, and crowns, 
foreign to the thought of the medium and of the 
operators of the camera. 

2. Objects which seem like statues, either 
sketches or pictures, reproducing mental images, 
conscious or unconscious, of the medium or of 
the operators. 

3. Spontaneous tokens of intelligence on the 
part of the spirits of the dead. 




Fig. 



53. Another Spirit Photograph of Bebella, Trance 
Companion of the Girl Psychic Randone. 



PHOTOGRAPHS AND PLASTIQUES 267 

4. Images of materialized forms that were 
visible to the persons employed in taking the 
photographs. 

5. Reproductions of the double of living per- 
sons, — another proof of the existence of the 
double. 

6. Tests in which only the mediums see cer- 
tain constant images that are always the same 
and that no one else sees. v 

The accompanying photograph, obtained by 
the aid of the medium Miller, probably comprises 
three or four of these classes, as well as the lu- 
minous radiations that appeared in the Eusapia 
experiments of which we have spoken when dis- 
cussing radio-activity. 

Another demonstration of transcendental ar- 
tistic power is furnished by the wonderfully exe- 
cuted sculptures by mediums totally ignorant of 
the art, and who therefore cannot be their real 
authors. See, for example, the sculptures ob- 
tained by the medium Eusapia in the figures 
herewith reproduced. 

In 1879 tne experimenter Denton succeeded in 
securing imprints in paraffine of a fluidic hand, 
while the medium (Hardy) was two feet distant 
from the paraffine. Afterwards he obtained the 
same when the paraffine was in a box, enclosed in 
a network covering of iron. The lid of the box 
was composed of two parts, one of which was 
closed by a spring-catch and the other by a bolt. 



268 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

The box was also wrapped in a covering. Ma- 
dame Hardy faced the box on its narrowest side. 
After forty minutes animated raps were heard, 
announcing success. The seals being removed 
and bolts drawn, a big hand was seen floating 
upon the cold water. 

The sculptor O'Brien declared that scarcely 
one in twenty of the famous masters of the art 
could undertake to finish so admirably a hand like 
that, and perhaps might not succeed at all, " be- 
cause," said he, " in our art, for the purpose of 
reproducing objects, we make use of the matrix 
in different pieces, which afterwards compels us 
to go to the trouble of chiselling away the rough- 
nesses of the object in order to remove the dis- 
connections made by the seams of juncture." 

In 1877 we had the experiments of Reimer with 
this mysterious plastic art. The medium in this 
case was covered by a large cloth bag that con- 
cealed her head and hands. She was seated in a 
corner of the room. Her fingers are one centi- 
metre longer and two centimetres larger in cir- 
cumference than those of the hand produced, al- 
though some of the features of her hands — such 
as the wrinkles of age — appear among those 
characterizing the sculptured phantasmal hand, 
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CHAPTER XII 
Haunted Houses 

Haunted houses furnish an important factor in 
the solution of the problem as to the post-mortem 
activity of the spirits of the departed. 

The tradition of the existence of such houses 
is so ancient and so easily transmissible and in- 
fectious that we find words descriptive of the 
phenomenon in all languages : in German Spuken, 
in English haunted, in French maisons hantees, 
in Italian case spiritate, or inf 'estate, as well as 
expressions in local dialects. 

The proof of the existence of such houses is 
attested by many court decisions. 

During the last days of December, 1867, at No. 
14 Ghibellina Street, in Florence, subterranean 
noises began to be heard, and sudden and start- 
ling blows in the table around which the family 
was seated. Dishes were broken in the cup- 
boards, there were showers of stones, and an 
invisible hand would press the arms of the in- 
mates of the household, some of whom saw phan- 
tasms wearing broad-brimmed hats like those 
of the Brothers of Misericordia. The tenant 
haled the proprietor of the house into court to 



270 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

compel the payment of damages, and the court 
granted the petition on proof of the facts. 

In the house in Naples owned by the Baroness 
Laura Englen, situated in the Largo San Carlo, 
No. 7, and rented by the Duchess of Castelpoto 
and her family, very remarkable manifestations 
took place at stated intervals, increasing to a 
maximum and then gradually declining. At the 
beginning there were raps and strange noises 
which generally grew more intense at the close 
of the day and at night. A little later the furni- 
ture began to be moved about, sometimes so 
noisily as to attract the attention of the tenants 
of the floors beneath. Once steps were heard, and 
a phantasmal form appeared on the threshold of 
the room and threw down a key. When the ten- 
ants left the house at night, on returning they 
would find the doors obstructed by furniture 
on the inside. As a consequence they demanded 
and obtained the refunding of the rent (F. Zin- 
garopoli, A House haunted by Spirits, Naples, 
1907). 

Indeed, even the laws of the ancients made 
special dispositions for analogous cases (Digest, 
Tit. II. Law 27), just as Spain does now (Por- 
zia and Covarruvio, Variorum ResoL, c. 6). And 
this particular kind of jurisprudence was in force 
as late as 1889 and after (Troplong, Delle Perm. 
e Locaz., Cod. di Nap., 1802). 

The jurist Dalloz has this to say on the subject: 










S§ 



%Mmm [ M 






HAUNTED HOUSES 271 

" The question was discussed in the abstract, 
whether the apparition of spectral forms in an 
inhabited house constitutes a defect for which the 
lessor may be held by the lessee. The majority of 
writers on the subject gave an affirmative answer, 
and, as a consequence, taught that the lessee had 
the right to demand a dissolution of the contract." 

CASES DUE TO MEDIUMISTIC INFLUENCE 

It seems to me that haunted houses may well 
be divided into two great groups: namely, first, 
those revealing themselves to be such for a rather 
limited time (usually a short one), and in which 
may almost always be detected the operant influ- 
ence of a medium (these should rather be called 
" medianic cases ") ; and, second, those in which 
the phenomenon is permanent and seems to ex- 
clude all mediumistic participation. Out of ten 
haunted houses that I have had the opportunity 
of examining I found four of this latter descrip- 
tion. In one there were mysterious sprinklings 
of water; the continuous tinkling of little bells, 
even after the wires had been cut ; the levitation 
of a lady from the floor, drawn up by the hair by 
an invisible power; the displacement of kitchen 
utensils, of furniture, and the movement of hats 
from one point to another even after they had 
been fastened with nails. The power-centre for 
all these phenomena resided in an hysterical girl. 



272 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

As soon as she had married and removed to 
another city, the phenomena, which had lasted 
for two years, entirely ceased (Ann. des Sc. 
Psych., April, 1906). 

In another workman's home strange things 
occurred after midnight, such as the reversing of 
sheets, blows like cannon-shots, the opening of 
window-shutters and windows, — all as the im- 
mediate result of hospitality offered by the family 
to a girl affected with hysterical convulsions. By 
my advice she was sent away, and the phenomena 
ceased. They had lasted a trifle more than fifteen 
days. 

In a little room on the fourth floor of a certain 
house inhabited by poor printers with a large 
family, frightful blows, or " raps," were heard in 
the wall contiguous to the children's bed. They 
sounded like a cannonade, beginning about mid- 
night and not ceasing till the dawn of day, and 
terrifying all the families in the tenement. The 
investigations and researches of the police made 
it necessary to exclude altogether the hypothesis 
of any living thing being the cause of the occur- 
rences. When the spirit that was believed to be 
at the bottom of the affair was put on the witness 
stand in a typtological seance, it replied several 
times, giving name, cognomen, and profession, 
— all turning out to be false. It affirmed that its 
object was to be revenged on the master of the 
house, whereas the house, at the time when the 



HAUNTED HOUSES 273 

spirit pretended it had died, did not yet exist. 
There did exist, however, an unconscious medium 
in the person of a boy of eight years. When he 
was removed from the house, the uproar ceased; 
when he returned and went to bed, the phenomena 
recommenced; they grew weaker when he was 
ill (Ann. des Sc. Psych., April, 1906). 

In a cremerie, or milk-shop, in Turin, similar 
noises, automatic movements, etc., were caused 
by a very young medium, six or seven years old, 
who was the son and grandson of psychics. But 
these phenomena lasted only eighteen days. 

PSEUDO-MEDIUMISTIC CASES 

In other cases the influence of the medium is 
less certain. The following are instances: 

On the 1 6th of November, in Turin, Via Bava, 
No. 6, in a little inn kept by a man named Fumero, 
there began to be heard in the daytime, but to a 
greater extent at night, a series of strange noises. 
In seeking out the cause, it was found that full 
or empty wine-bottles had been broken in the 
wine-cellar. More frequently they would descend 
from their places and roll along the floor, heaping 
themselves against the closed door in such a way 
as to obstruct the entrance when it was opened. 
In the sleeping-chamber on the upper floor (which 
communicated by a staircase with the servants' 
room near the small public room of the inn) gar- 

18 



274 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

ments were twisted up and some of them trans- 
ferred themselves downstairs into the room be- 
neath. Two chairs in coming down were broken. 
Copper utensils which had been hung upon the 
walls of the servants' dining-room fell to the floor 
and slid over long reaches of the room, sometimes 
getting broken. A spectator put his hat on the 
bed of the upper chamber; it disappeared and 
was later found in the filth-heap of the courtyard 
below. 

Careful examination failed to disclose any nor- 
mal cause for these performances. No help could 
be got either from the police or the priest. Nay, 
when the latter was performing his office, a huge 
bottle full of wine was broken at his very feet. 
A vase of flowers that had been brought into the 
inn descended safely onto a table from the mould- 
ing above the door, where it had been placed. 
Two large bottles of rosolio, which they were dis- 
tilling, were broken in broad daylight. Five or 
six times, even in the presence of the police, a 
little staircase-ladder, which leaned against the 
wall at one side of the main room of the inn, was 
slowly lowered to the floor, yet without hurting 
any one. A gun went across the room and was 
found on the floor in the opposite corner. Two 
bottles came down from a high shelf with some 
force. They were not broken, but they bruised 
the elbow of a porter, giving him a slight " black- 
and-blue spot." 



HAUNTED HOUSES 275 

The people kept crowding in to see, and the 
police during their investigations gave the Fu- 
mero family to understand that they suspected 
them of simulating, so that the poor creatures 
decided to suffer the annoyance in silence. They 
even gave out that it had ceased (after an imag- 
inary visit from me), so as to escape at least the 
guying, if not the damage. I began attentively 
to study the case. 

I made a minute examination of the premises. 
The rooms were small. Two of them served the 
purpose of a wine-shop; one was used for a ser- 
vants' eating-room, and was connected by a small 
stairway with a bed-chamber above. Lastly, there 
was a deep wine-cellar, access to which was ob- 
tained by means of a long stairway and a passage- 
way. The people informed me that they noticed 
that whenever any one entered the cellar the 
bottles began to be broken. I entered at first in 
the dark, and, sure enough, I heard the breaking 
of glasses and the rolling of bottles under my 
feet. I thereupon lit up the place. The bottles 
were massed together upon five shelves, one over 
the other. In the middle of the room was a rude 
table. I had six lighted candles placed upon this, 
on the supposition that the spiritistic phenomena 
would cease in bright light. On the contrary, I 
saw three empty bottles, which stood upright on 
the floor, spin along as if twirled by a finger and 
break to pieces near my table. To avoid a pos- 



276 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

sible trick I carefully examined, by the light of 
a large candle, and touched with my hand all the 
full bottles standing on the shelves and ascer- 
tained that there were no wires or strings that 
might explain the movements. After a few min- 
utes two bottles, then four, and later others on 
the second and third shelves separated themselves 
from the rest and fell to the floor without any 
violent motion, but rather as if they had been 
lifted down by some one; and after this descent 
rather than fall, six burst upon the wet floor (al- 
ready drenched with wine), and two remained 
intact. A quarter of an hour afterwards three 
others from the last compartment fell and were 
broken upon the floor. Then I turned to leave 
the cellar. As I was on the point of going out, 
I heard the breaking of another bottle on the 
floor. When the door was shut, all again became 
quiet. 

I came back on another day. They told me 
that the same phenomena occurred with decreas- 
ing frequency, adding that a little brass color- 
grinder had' sprung from one place to another 
in the servants' room, and, striking against the 
opposite wall, jammed itself out of shape — as 
indeed I observed. Two or three chairs had 
bounced around with such violence that they were 
broken, without, however, hurting any one stand- 
ing by. A table was also broken. 

I asked to see and examine all the people of the 



HAUNTED HOUSES 277 

house. There was a tall waiter lad of thirteen, 
apparently normal; another, a head- waiter, also 
normal. The master of the house was a brave 
old soldier who from time to time threatened the 
spirits with his gun. Judging from his flushed 
face and forced hilarity, I judged him to be some- 
what under the influence of alcohol. The mis- 
tress of the inn was a little woman of some fifty 
years, lean and very slender. From infancy up 
she had been subject to tremors, neuralgia, and 
nocturnal hallucinations, and had had an opera- 
tion for hystero-ovariotomy. For all these rea- 
sons I counselled the husband to have her leave 
the premises for three days. She went to Nole, 
her native town, on the 25th of November, and 
there suffered from hallucinations, — voices 
heard at night, movements, persons that no one 
else saw or heard. But she did not cause any an- 
noying movements of objects. During these three 
days nothing happened at the inn. But as soon 
as she got back the performances began again, 
at first furiously, but afterwards more mildly. 
The occurrences were always the same, — uten- 
sils, chairs, bottles, broken or displaced. Seeing 
this, I again counselled that the wife absent her- 
self anew, and she did so on November 26. 

On the day the woman left (she was in a state 
of great excitement and had cursed the alleged 
spirits), all the dishes and bottles that had been 
placed on the table were broken and fell to the 



278 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

floor. If the family was going to dine, the table 
had to be prepared in another place and by an- 
other woman, because no dish touched by the mis- 
tress remained intact. Hence one naturally sus- 
pected that she had mediumistic powers, or would 
have done so had it not been that during her ab- 
sence the phenomena were repeated in just the 
same way. That is to say (to be specific), a pair 
of shoes of hers that were in the bed-chamber, on 
the dressing-cloth, came downstairs in broad day- 
light (half-past eight in the morning), traversed 
the servants' room through the air, passed into 
the common room of the inn, and there fell down 
at the feet of two customers who were seated at 
a table. (This was on November 2j.) The shoes 
were replaced on the dressing-cloth and continu- 
ally watched, but did not move until noon of the 
next day; and at that hour, when all were at 
dinner, they disappeared entirely ! A week after- 
wards they were found, with heels to the floor, 
under the bed of the same chamber. 

Another pair of ladies' shoes, placed in the 
same chamber, on the dressing-cloth, and care- 
fully watched, disappeared, and were found only 
after the lapse of twenty days (folded up as if 
they were to be packed in a trunk), between the 
mattresses of a bed in the same chamber that had 
been turned upside down in vain two days after 
the disappearance. 

When it was seen that the phenomena contin- 



HAUNTED HOUSES 279 

ued just the same, the woman was recalled from 
Nole, and they were repeated with the same con- 
tinuity as before. A bottle of effervescent liquor, 
for example, in the inn, in full daylight, in the 
sight of everybody, slowly, as if accompanied by 
a human hand, passed over a distance of twelve 
or fifteen feet, as far as the servants' room, the 
door of which was open, and then fell to the floor 
and was broken. 

After all this it occurred to the host to dismiss 
the younger of his two waiters. When he left 
(December 7), all the phenomena ceased. This 
of course makes one surmise that the motive force 
emanated from him. Yet he was not an hysteric, 
and was the cause of no spiritistic occurrences in 
his new home. 

An instance of the exercise of mediumistic 
power which is somewhat uncertain, owing to the 
great distance between the medium and the house 
in which the power was brought to bear, is nar- 
rated by Augustus Hare in volume six of his 
Story of my Life (London, G. Allen, 1900, p. 
365 ). 1 It seems that in 1891 a certain Mrs. 
Butler, who lived in Ireland with her husband, 
dreamed of finding herself in a very beautiful 
house, furnished with all imaginable comforts. 
The dream made a deep impression on her mind, 

1 I am indebted for this case to the courteous and learned Countess 
of Chanaz, who made an abstract of it for me. 



280 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

and the following night she again dreamed of the 
same house and of going over it. And so for 
many nights in succession, until in the family 
circle she and her house of dreams became the 
subject of gentle raillery. 

In 1892 the Butlers decided to leave Ireland 
and take up their residence in England. They 
went to London and procured from various agen- 
cies lists of country houses. Having heard of a 
house in Hampshire, they went out to see it. At 
the gate-keeper's lodge Mrs. Butler exclaimed, 
" This is the gate-house of my dream! " And 
when they reached the house she affirmed the 
house to be that of her dreams. The woman in 
charge proceeded to show the premises, and Mrs. 
Butler said she recognized all the details, except a 
certain door, which it turned out had been added 
to the place within six months. The estate being 
for sale at a very low price, the Butlers suddenly 
decided to buy it. When the bargain had been 
made and the money paid over, the price seemed 
to them so excessively low that they began to sus- 
pect there must be some grave defect, and com- 
municated their suspicion to the agent who had 
sold it to them. He then admitted that the prop- 
erty had the reputation of being haunted, but that 
Mrs. Butler had no need to pay any attention to 
that, seeing that she herself was the phantasm 
that had appeared there ! 

This would seem to be not so much a case of 



HAUNTED HOUSES 281 

the action of a medium as of her double, which, 
as often happens to a person sleeping, darted 
over a vast distance from the place where she lay 
in the deep lethargy of sleep to that on which her 
thought was intensely concentrated in dream. 
The case is, however, almost unique. 



TRAGIC CASES 

On the other hand, in haunted houses which I 
may call tragic no medium is discoverable, or, at 
any rate, if found, his or her influence would have 
to be considered as a permanent thing, lasting 
often for generations or centuries. Popular le- 
gend, and frequently history also, attributes the 
noises heard and the appearance of spectral 
forms, often blood-stained and fierce, to scenes of 
violence that happened on the spot many years or 
many centuries previous. And in those cases of 
persons who sufTered a violent death in the flower 
of their age there is noted a greater energy of 
action and a tendency to continue their former 
habits and to haunt the place of their burial. The 
most ancient example is that of the temple of 
Athena in Sparta, in which the traitorous general 
Pausanias was immured to die of starvation, and 
which was afterwards made uninhabitable on 
account of the terrifying noises produced by his 
ghost, until it was finally placated by a necro- 
mancer, or psychagogue. 



282 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

It has been calculated that in England there 
are at least a hundred and fifty haunted halls, 
abbeys, schools, and hospitals, almost all of which 
have been in consequence abandoned by their 
tenants (Ingram, Haunted Homes, etc., of Great 
Britain, 1907). 

Edmund L. Swift, Keeper of the Crown Jewels 
in the Tower of London, one day in the year i860 
saw a phantom bear come out of the room in 
which the jewels are kept ; it is the same in which 
Anne Boleyn was imprisoned. The sentinel was 
unable to strike the bear with his halberd, but it 
dissolved away into the air like melted wax. The 
sentinel died the next day of the fright he had 
received (Ingram, op. cit.; see the same account 
in Notes and Queries, i860). 

Here belongs also the case of the lady in Scot- 
land who in 1880 had rented an ancient castle, 
and one night woke up to see at the foot of her 
bed the image of a man without a head, and 
dressed in the fashion of two centuries previous. 
She awoke her husband, who, however, saw 
nothing. A few days afterward one of the in- 
habitants of the castle died. It was a tradition 
in the country roundabout that every time the 
headless ghost appeared some one in the castle 
disappeared from this life. The explanation was 
that at the time of the Civil War of 1660 a pro- 
scribed fugitive of the party of the Cavaliers, or 
Royalists, had asked hospitality of the keeper of 



HAUNTED HOUSES 283 

the castle, and had been by him betrayed, being 
delivered by night into the hands of the king's 
enemies, who soon after beheaded him in the 
neighboring courtyard. 

There can be no question at all in this case of 
supernormal power exercised by a medium, for 
it would have had to be perpetuated for three 
centuries. 

" Miss Feilden writes me," says Hare {op. cit., 
vol. iii. p. 78), "that during her youth her 
family removed to the Isle of Wight and rented 
St. Boniface House, between Bonchurch and 
Ventnor. She was accustomed to sleep in a 
chamber on the first floor, while the French gov- 
erness and the other sister, Charlotte, slept in 
the adjoining room. The English governess had 
a room on the floor above. One night, while Miss 
Feilden and her sister were in bed, suddenly the 
door opened with a great noise and some one 
came into the chamber, producing a current of 
air. Then the bed-curtains were whisked up over 
their heads, and the bed-clothes dragged away. 
The two sisters leaped out of bed, and at that 
moment the mattress also was pulled forcibly 
away. They ran out of the room, crying for 
help. The English governess came down in haste, 
and the servants, being called, found things all 
right in the chamber, — the bed covers folded up 
and laid in three corners of the room, the mat- 
tress leaning against the wall, and the blanket by 



284 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

the fireplace. They found out afterwards that 
similar things had happened to others there, 
and that the house had the reputation of being 
" spooky." A lady had killed her babe in that 
room. Sometimes her ghost was visible, but 
usually she manifested her presence only by noise 
and movement of the furniture. 

Glenlee, in Scotland, is a very lonely country 
house. Some years ago it was occupied by a lady 
who poisoned her husband to marry a young 
officer with whom she was in love and with whom 
she went away to live. He treated her so badly 
that she finally left him and returned to Glenlee, 
where she passed her time in sadly wandering 
through the halls of the house, until, grown old, 
she died. It is her ghost that was seen there, but 
which, it is said, ceased to appear after a Catholic 
tenant of the property had had Mass said in the 
house. 1 

At another time Mrs. Robert Gladstone was 
making a visit at the Maxwells', then owners of 
Glenlee. In the afternoon she went into the room 
assigned to her to rest, and presently it seemed 
to her that the space opposite to her was filling 
with mist. She thought it came from the chim- 
ney, but there was neither fire nor smoke there. 
She looked to see if it could come from the win- 

1 Several of these anecdotes were collected for me by the Countess 
of Chanaz, who crowned her kindness by interesting for my benefit Prof. 
Scott Elliott, who obtained direct information about Glenlee from the 
daughter of Mrs. Maxwell, mistress of the house. 



HAUNTED HOUSES 285 

dow, but outside the sun was shining bright. 
Little by little the mist seemed to take shape, until 
it became the gray figure of a woman looking at 
the clock. 

Mrs. Gladstone fainted away through terror. 
When she came to, the figure had disappeared. 
As soon as she learned that that was a haunted 
chamber she left the house. 

Mrs. Stamford Raffles also went to visit at 
Glenlee. It was winter. She woke up in the 
night, and by the light of the fire that was burn- 
ing in the fireplace she saw the same appearance 
of mist, which little by little condensed until it 
formed a human figure that stood looking at the 
clock. She felt at the same time an intense cold; 
then fainted from fright after having tried to 
waken her husband, who was sleeping by her 
side, — but tried in vain, since her limbs and 
tongue seemed paralyzed. A little while after 
the Maxwell family left Glenlee for good. 

In this case the phantasm is certainly to be 
accounted for by the house and the sad events 
that had occurred there, and not to the presence 
of mediums. The visitors provoked the appear- 
ance of the apparition by entering the room and 
especially by sleeping there, and not by any me- 
diumistic gifts they might have. And yet the 
cessation of the phenomenon after the saying of 
Mass might lead one to regard the whole as the 
result of suggestion on the part of the living. 



286 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

PREMONITORY APPARITIONS IN HAUNTED 
HOUSES 

There is another kind of haunted houses which 
I will classify by the term premonitory, — houses 
in which the apparition appears at long intervals 
only and always serving as a premonition of the 
death of some one of the members of the house- 
hold. Such are the famous White Lady of the 
Royal Palace in Berlin, 1 the White Lady of 
Avenel (in Sir Walter Scott's Monastery), the 
Dark Lady of Norfolkshire, and the Gray Lady 
of Windsor. Perhaps apparitions like these 
might be explained by that mediumistic power 
which many persons about to die possess, and 
which enables them to announce, even to those 
far off, their approaching end, by means of voices, 
raps, or the appearance of their double. The 
dying person would be, in this case, of the nature 
of a space-traversing medium to awaken the en- 
ergies of the spirits of the dead attached to cer- 
tain houses which may be considered as their 
appurtenance, and to which they are tied by the 
bonds of long habit. 

In his Story of my Life (vol. iii. p. 40) Augus- 

1 She appeared in 1589, eight days before the death of the Prince 
Elector John George, and again in 1619, twenty-three days before the 
death of Sigismund, and also in 1688. In 1850 she foretold the attempt 
on the life of Count Frederick William the Fourth, of Prussia (De Vesme, 
History of Spiritualism, vol. ii., Turin). [This White Lady is popularly 
said to be the ghost of the Countess Agnes of Qrlajniinde, who murdered 
her two children.] — Translator. 



HAUNTED HOUSES 287 

tus Hare tells us that the celebrated Sir David 
Brewster once went with his daughter to pay a 
visit to the Stirling family at Kippenross in Scot- 
land. In the night he took refuge in his daugh- 
ter's chamber and asked her permission to remain 
there lying on a sofa till morning, so terrified had 
he been by the strange lamentations he had heard. 
Miss Brewster's maid had also heard strange 
noises that night and wanted to leave the house 
immediately. In the afternoon Miss Brewster, 
while on the way to her room, saw at the head of 
the stairs a tall woman leaning against the ban- 
isters. She asked this woman to send to her her 
maid; but she only nodded her head thrice and 
pointed to a door in the hall, then descended the 
stairs. Miss Brewster spoke of the matter to 
Mrs. Stirling, who was deeply agitated by what 
the apparition presaged; for in the chamber to 
which it pointed were sleeping Major Wedder- 
burn and his wife. Before the year ended both 
of them had been killed in the Sepoy Rebellion in 
India. The tradition in the house was that who- 
ever was pointed out by the ghost died within the 
year. 

One more instance under this head: In the 
castle of Berry-Pomeroy the wife of the major- 
domo of the House of Pomeroy had been taken 
ill. Dr. Farquhar is called in, finds the disease 
of a very light character, and asks the husband 
as to the identity of the lady very richly dressed 



288 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

whom he had met in the ante-chamber. The hus- 
band is struck dumb with amazement and fear, 
knowing as he does that such a vision has for a 
century and more always preceded the death of a 
member of the family. His wife died in the night. 

CASES IN WHICH NO MEDIUMS APPEAR 

In other cases — the majority, in fact — there 
is found not even this appearance of mediumistic 
influence. 

Solovovo (Ann. des Sc. Psych., 1899, p. 173) 
tells of a house in Russia occupied by two small 
families of the patriarchal order, KupreyanofT 
and Nazaroff. The latter were in the habit of 
buying in January and February for the whole 
year's use quite stout sticks or chunks of wood, 
weighing at least seven pounds each, which were 
piled up in a row against the wall of the granary 
to the height of twenty-one English feet. At ten 
o'clock of a certain evening the family heard a 
prodigious thumping and clattering in this wood- 
pile. By the light of a lantern and three candles 
they saw a stick leap out, not from the top, but 
from the middle of the pile and fall on the ground 
at a distance of several metres. The same thing 
continued for forty minutes, during which 
twenty-seven sticks were thrown out, to all ap- 
pearance self-moved. 

A curious feature was that the big hole left by 
the departure of these sticks was not filled up 



HAUNTED HOUSES 289 

by the remaining sticks until the next day, when 
the whole mass was found to be compact, without 
a gap of any kind. The sticks did not fly out 
from one point, but from many, and always from 
the centre of the pile, never from the top or 
the sides. We must exclude the influence of 
animals and of men, and as a consequence that 
of mediums. 

In a little house near Tedworth Judge Mom- 
preson and his family were annoyed every night 
as soon as they had gone to bed by the beating of 
an invisible drum, which sounded ominously in 
the interior of the house, accompanied by a reel- 
ing dance of all the pieces of furniture, which 
were whirled about by invisible hands. The dogs 
hid themselves, and the judge himself was com- 
pelled to flee the house. It is a curious fact that 
this drum replied to questions by taps corre- 
sponding to the succession of the letters of the 
alphabet, just as in seance experiments of the 
present day. And yet it was as far back as 
1662. 

Dr. Morice (Ann. des Sc. Psych., 1892, vol. 
iv.) made a careful study of a case occurring in 
the castle of T., in Normandy. This castle had 
been in existence since 1835, and was restored and 
used again as a residence by M. de X. In the 
month of October, 1867, extraordinary raps, or 
blows, began to be heard, with movement of 
tables, etc. They were renewed in 1875, and 

19 



290 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

again more annoyingly in 1892. The castle was 
already notorious for having been in former days 
infested by maleficent hobgoblins. 

In October, 1875, noises were heard as of steps 
upon the ground (at that time covered with 
snow), but no traces of footsteps could be seen. 
Armchairs and statues changed positions, large 
articles of furniture were dragged about, rapid 
steps were heard, and then came five loud raps 
on the staircase landing. On another day shrill 
cries, the sound of the galloping of horses in the 
hall. All this lasted from midnight up to three 
o'clock. Later the phenomena began to be no- 
ticed in the daytime as well. One day the wife 
of X, wishing to enter a room where the noises 
were heard, reached out her right hand, and the 
key leaped out of the lock and struck her on the 
left hand. Under the influence of exorcisms the 
nuisance diminished a little, then ceased, but 
again appeared in 1891. Here again we must 
exclude the hypothesis of a medium, even that 
reaching forward through a long extent of time. 

Joseph Proctor (Journ. Soc. Psych. R., Dec, 
1892) communicated to the society a diary in 
which he had noted day by day the pranks and 
prodigies that took place in his father's house. 
During the indwelling of the first tenant — a 
certain X — nothing singular was observed. But 
the house was abandoned by X's successor on 
account of the strange things that took place 



HAUNTED HOUSES 291 

in it. No sooner had a certain nurse entered the 
house than she began to complain of roarings, 
stampings, clamorous cries, which were heard in 
the adjoining room. These noises were heard 
by all the other inmates of the house. 

Two months afterward one of the members of 
the household saw one evening a white form at 
the window. On another evening the custodian, 
his wife, and his daughter saw in the same place 
a priest in white stole. This apparition lasted 
ten minutes. At intervals during six months the 
nursery-maids were repeatedly thrown out of 
bed. Later the servant-maid saw at the foot of 
her bed the ghost of an old man with his fingers 
interlocked. 

In the month of June a friend who was staying 
over night as a guest fled from his bed terrified 
by the sight of phantasms and by frightful noises. 
Two years passed, and then the inhabitants of 
the house heard their name pronounced here and 
there by invisible persons. Many and many a 
time there appeared before the children, while 
they were playing, the ghostly form of a nun, or 
the image of a pale head which vanished with a 
noise. 1 

After two years the tenants decided to aban- 
don the house. The last night of their stay the 
noises and apparitions took place with redoubled 

1 One is reminded of the familiar apparition in Scott's Antiquary that 
vanished "with a curious perfume and a melodious twang." — Translator. 



292 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

frequency. In their new home they heard no 
more noises and saw no more apparitions, as they 
had done in the ill-omened one they had left be- 
hind. On the other hand, those who succeeded 
them there were so rabidly persecuted by the 
poltergeists that they also had to give up the 
house. It was never rented again. 

There is in the foregoing cases clearly no trace 
of mediums, except the influence of the Mass in 
two instances. To explain the phenomena (which 
were repeated for many years with different fam- 
ilies, who, when they had changed houses, had 
no more trouble of the kind) we can have re- 
course only to the direct influence of phantasmal 
apparitions, which were, indeed, many a time rec- 
ognized by those of the tenants who had medium- 
istic powers. 

ACTS OF REVENANTS (NECROPHANIC HOUSES) 

In other dwellings (which I will call necro- 
phanic) the exclusive sway of the departed is 
evidenced not only by the appearance of their 
phantasmal fac-similes, but by their express dec- 
larations made in mediumistic seances that they 
were putting forth their powers (sometimes ter- 
rific powers) for such and such ends; for ex- 
ample, in order to inflict punishment for the 
reoccupation of the house or to revenge the 
honor of the family, or for moral and religious 
warning, etc. 



HAUNTED HOUSES 293 

Mrs. R., who in October, 1857, and for many 
many months succeeding that, lived in the manor 
house of Ramhurst in Kent, was disturbed from 
the very first day of her occupancy by blows on 
the walls and by voices that could not be ex- 
plained and which terrified every one. A certain 
Miss S., who had been used, from infancy up, to 
the sight of apparitions (for she was at that 
time a medium), came to see Mrs. R., and scarcely 
had she entered the house when she saw at the 
entrance the forms of a couple of old people 
dressed in antique fashion, and they reappeared 
to her every day, surrounded by a kind of aura, 
or mist. The third time they spoke to her [in the 
mediumistic language] and said they had once 
been the proprietors of the house, that their name 
was " Children " (the old man said his name was 
Richard and that he had died in 1753), and that 
they were aggrieved that the castle, so dear to 
them, was now in the hands of strangers. Mrs. 
R., to whom Miss S. repeated the communica- 
tion, continued to perceive voices and noises, but 
not apparitions, except that a month after, when 
she was one day about to go down to dinner, she 
saw in her room (in bright light) the two fig- 
ures, as her friend S. had described them, and 
glowing on the wall above the head of the old 
lady, in phosphoric light, the words Dame Chil- 
dren, and some other words indicating that she 
was " earth-bound/' 



294 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

After a good deal of research Mrs. R. learned 
from an old lady that many years before she 
had known an old man who had been assistant 
keeper of the hounds for certain " Children " who 
lived then in the manor house. Among them was 
a Richard who had died in 1753, that is, a century 
previous. Robert Dale Owen discovered, more- 
over, in the Hasted Papers in the British Mu- 
seum and in the History of Kent that a Rich- 
ard Children had settled at Ramhurst and died 
there in 1753 at the age of eighty-three; that the 
family had in the sequel emigrated elsewhere; 
and that after 181 6 the house had become a kind 
of farmhouse. 

In such an instance as this we do not discover 
mediums as the cause of the phenomena, whereas 
traces of the activity of the departed, reaching 
back for a century, are testified to by two per- 
sons; and, when by chance a medium comes to 
the house, the name of the deceased is revealed 
both in writing and in mediumistic language, and 
the accuracy of the whole is confirmed by history, 
or rather by family chronicle (Owen, Footfalls, 
etc., p. 304; quoted in Alfred Russel Wallace's 
Miracles, p. 106). 

Count Galateri relates that in 1852 his father, 
on retiring from the army in Annecy, acquired a 
villa, in which some years after certain strange 
events occurred: doors opened of themselves at 
night, pieces of furniture and boots struck one 



HAUNTED HOUSES 295 

against another, etc., so that it was decided to sell 
the villa. During the last days of the stay there 
the countess, noticing that the noises increased 
in frequency and intensity in a small wine-cellar, 
and in fact always issued thence, tried the expe- 
dient of having excavations made there with a 
mattock, and presently the uproar ceased. 

In 1864, f° ur years afterward, the two Gala- 
teri men saw a newspaper fold itself up automati- 
cally and reopen on the table. It was half-past 
ten in the evening. At the very same hour, in 
another house, the mother of the Galateri family 
had been in a mediumistic seance at which her 
deceased daughter said to her, " / am going to 
run and give a surprise to papa and brother." 

In another seance the mother with another 
medium affirmed that she saw at the door of the 
haunted villa of Annecy, of which I have just 
spoken, a soldier with a wooden leg, who con- 
fided to her how in a battle fought under Napo- 
leon he was accustomed to despoil the dead, so 
that he grew rich, and that with his ill-acquired 
money he had bought that villa and in its wine- 
cellar had hidden his little hoard. But now, 
having repented of what he had done, he had 
produced all those persistent noises to induce the 
countess to search for the treasure in order that 
she might distribute it to the poor. 

Two years afterward, having returned to her 
old home (the Annecy villa), she learned that 



296 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

the then owners wanted to get rid of it at any- 
cost, owing to the incessant clamor that occurred, 
notwithstanding the conjurations of the priest. 
She asked them to remain only two days more, 
dug in the cellar, and found a vessel containing 
several thousand francs in gold, which she dis- 
tributed to the poor ; and from that time forward 
the spiritistic phenomena ceased (Luce ed Om- 
bra, Nov., 1905). 

Here the action of the deceased seems perfectly 
evident and independent of any medium, and 
would find its explanation and proof in the ces- 
sation of the spiritistic antics after a wish ex- 
pressed by the spirit of the dead man had been 
granted and embodied in a deed. 

The same thing may be said of another case 
set forth by De Vesme in my Archivio di Psichi- 
atria, vol. xvii. Crackings of whips, the over- 
turning of articles of furniture, the turning inside 
out of women's garments, which were unexpect- 
edly discovered to have been removed from boxes 
and wardrobes, then cut and placed on the 
window-sill, — such are some of the hobgoblin 
performances that took place in the house of a 
certain Fer — in Turin, Via Garibaldi, after the 
death of his sister, a lady of a very religious turn 
of mind. These pranks were repeated even out 
of the house, and wherever Signor Fer — went. 
They suddenly ceased after a typtological seance 
at which his sister confessed that she was the 



HAUNTED HOUSES 297 

author of all those occurrences, she being irri- 
tated at her brother's living illegally with a cer- 
tain woman. She said that, if he would marry 
her, every annoyance would cease. And so it 
proved. Now neither the woman nor Fer — pos- 
sessed mediumistic powers, and there was no 
one in the house who was gifted that way. 
Plainly the activity of the spirit of the de- 
parted is here shiningly conspicuous, nay, highly 
reasonable. 

SUMMARY 

If, then, there are cases, for the most part of 
a temporary nature, in which the phenomena of 
haunted houses can be explained by the active 
intervention of a medium, there are very many 
others in which the action of the medium is want- 
ing, and the latter are the cases of longer dura- 
tion, sometimes covering centuries, — cases in 
which the action of the deceased shines forth 
conspicuous and unique, verified by typtological 
communications or by apparitions, and by voices 
(perceived especially by persons of unusual sen- 
sitiveness), and observed and recorded by the 
most ancient peoples and preserved by all nations 
in their popular legends. 

These haunted houses furnish the most ancient, 
the most widely diffused, and the least contest- 
able records of the autonomous, volitional, and 
persistent activity of the departed, even at epochs 



298 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

extremely remote from the time of their death, 
their phantasms exhibiting certain special pecul- 
iarities: such as that of presenting themselves 
in garments of the fashion of their times, at fixed 
hours, days, and epochs, usually at night, prefer- 
ably after midnight; or the habit of manifesting 
themselves (rarely) by the voice and in writing; 
of continually repeating the same movements, and 
especially those to which they were accustomed 
in life. Sometimes they make a show of violence, 
to revenge themselves, or to dissuade from evil 
actions, and occasionally for absurd and ridicu- 
lous reasons, — as in the case of the two Chil- 
dren, who believed themselves to be still the pos- 
sessors of the castle abandoned a century pre- 
vious; or as in the case of the White Ladies, 
etc., to announce the approaching death of some 
personage. 

The phenomena are sometimes influenced, in- 
stigated, and multiplied by the presence of a 
medium. In that case they would not seem to be 
so mysterious. But in these instances the ap- 
paritions are more animated and vivacious and 
more continuous, although more transitory (ap- 
pearing for periods varying from fifteen days to 
two years). 

But the greater number of the apparitions take 
place, as we have seen, apart from any active 
intermediation of a psychic, — a very natural 
thing when we remember that they appear fre- 



HAUNTED HOUSES 299 

quently in houses completely abandoned (some- 
times centuries before), and continue there in 
spite of change of tenants, although not reveal- 
ing themselves any further to these when they 
have removed to new habitations. 

In that last fact lies the very nub of the proof 
of the independent action of the dead in haunted 
houses, — something not only confirmed by le- 
gend, but frequently by historical records. And 
while the majority of people are made aware of 
the presence of these spirits only through noises, 
blows, and disorderly movements, yet persons 
endowed even with slight mediumistic powers 
perceive them directly, in their proper dress and 
with their own facial traits (see the case of the 
Children). 

There yet remains the mysterious problem 
how, without the aid which the body of a medium, 
of a living person, gives to the phantasm of the 
deceased, its activity can be displayed, and often 
with such energy. Certain individuals have 
given the strange and scarcely acceptable ex- 
planation that the spirits derive the material of 
their incarnation from the animals and plants of 
the deserted house. Twice I was given this an- 
swer by tranced mediums of whom I had asked 
the question. 

It has also been affirmed that all haunted 
houses, even those that are free from medium- 
istic influence, have been under the sway of dis- 



300 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

tant and invisible psychics. But phenomena are 
cited as apposite which would be better explained 
as a doubling of the personality, — such as that 
of Varley, who heard two blows in the wall of 
his room, distant more than five thousand English 
miles from the medium Home, who, in turn, knew 
of those blows because the same man, Ente, re- 
peating the same thing in his house, had notified 
him of the concomitance and invited him to write 
to Varley about it, that out of the affair he might 
derive new proof of the reality of spiritism. 

But this case, and that of Mrs. Butler, cited 
above, are rather cases of the doubling of the 
mediums, who transferred themselves to a dis- 
tance for a brief moment and for a few nights, m 
rather than cases of haunted houses. Even those 
of Lowestoft, spoken of by Aksakoff, are in- 
stances of apport to a great distance. In any case 
they are exceptional phenomena, and not fre- 
quent occurrences such as those in connection 
with haunted houses, and so cannot constitute a 
rule. Indeed, their extraordinary rarity and their 
distance from any possible medium operates as 
a bar to this explanation, whereas spiritistic phe- 
nomena are of frequent occurrence, and always 
take place in the immediate vicinity of the me- 
dium, rather more frequently on the left side than 
on the right, losing all active potency at a dis- 
tance of eight or ten metres. A bar also to the 
theory of mediumistic action at a distance in the 



HAUNTED HOUSES 301 

case of haunted houses is, first, the frequent oc- 
currence of these in lonely and abandoned sites, 
where not only are there no mediums, but no 
other inhabitants ; and, second, the continued oc- 
currence of the phenomenon through centuries, 
whereas the medium cannot have a secular life; 
and, thirdly, the fact that certain of these appari- 
tions are repeated sometimes at intervals of many 
years, and very often for a single time, coinci- 
dently with some great and tragic event, whereas 
the action of the medium must take place, not 
once merely, but for months in succession. 

The fact, by the way, that these phenomena of 
revenants and poltergeists in haunted houses 
occur in connection with cases of violent death 
(suicide or homicide) is very striking. That 
these mournful events took place so often in feu- 
dal and barbarous times explains why the dwell- 
ings dating from those times are the most infested 
by spirits. (In general, too, we may suppose that 
the phantasmal bodies of persons who suffered 
violent death, as in these old castles and halls, 
would exhibit a greater activity and energy, 
which they evidently do.) 

Nor do these manifestations seem to be iso- 
lated. To haunted houses not subject to the will 
of mediums must be added the malicious hurling 
of stones by invisible beings, — cases very fre- 
quent, though not of long duration, — and these, 
too, without any discoverable co-operation of a 



302 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

medium. Here, too, belong the phenomena of 
luminosity, such as those of Quargnento, which 
began to be noticed by Signor Sirembo during 
the first months of 1895, and afterwards by Pro- 
fessor Garzino (instructor in chemistry) and by 
the civil engineer Capello and others. 

These prodigies took place about half-past 
eight p.m. The dimensions of the luminous mass 
were about those made by a large lamp, though 
sometimes attaining a diameter of from 24 to 
28 inches. The motion of translation was by 
leaps or bounds; the light moved from the little 
church of S. Bernardo to the cemetery, and about 
midnight returned to the church. The event took 
place at all seasons, but it was not every one who 
could see it. The light was known in the country 
roundabout under the name of " The Fire of 
S. Bernardo. " In the church are buried the mem- 
bers of the Guasta family. 

A similar phenomenon was observed at Ber- 
benno di Valtellina. The movements there ex- 
hibited volition, always took place at a certain 
hour and between a field and a certain edi- 
fice. It is a flame that cannot be explained by 
any chemical law. For instance, among other 
things, it passes through trees without burning 
them. Everything shows that the phenomena 
are spiritistic manifestations, — especially if we 
recall how often in mediumistic seances lumi- 
nous globes and ribbons appear in places where 



HAUNTED HOUSES 303 

the manifestation of phantasmal entities occurs. 
But take notice that it was not possible to find in 
the vicinity of Quargnento and of Berbenno any 
trace of mediums. 

It is very curious to note how in these latter 
days it is possible to examine and verify so many 
recorded facts of this kind, whereas for almost 
two centuries scarcely one was observed, except 
among the lowest strata of the population, who 
were not, we may say, in communication with 
the cultivated classes. The latter, at any rate, 
since they did not believe in the phenomena, even 
when they took place directly under their eyes, 
took no pains to examine them or make known 
their existence. Hence all memory of them was 
lost. To-day they take place, are perceived, and 
are studied, although, indeed, they are readily 
forgotten and encounter incredulity and derision. 

Thus, in the Fumero case (described at the be- 
ginning of this chapter), if I had not persisted, 
and returned to the place, it would have been 
believed that, with the first appearance of the 
police or of myself, the phenomena had disap- 
peared, and they could easily have been attributed 
to trickery, thereby completely diverting from 
them the attention of investigators. 



CHAPTER XIII 

Tricks, Telepathy, the Unconscious, etc. 

Having reached this point, I fear lest my reader, 
in imitation of the famous Cardinal d'Este, may 
interrupt me with the exclamation, " Where have 
you found so many trashy stories ? " or, worse 
still, " Have n't you allowed yourself to be de- 
ceived by the most vulgar class of swindlers ? " 

As a matter of fact, the first impression (and 
I have not been without it myself) is that it is a 
question of trickery, — all this medium business. 1 
And this is the explanation that best suits the 
taste of the mass of people, since it saves thinking 
and studying, and makes the common man believe 
he is a more conscientious observer and more 
skilful than the man of science. Let us add that 
even the scientist must agree that no group of 
natural phenomena lends itself more readily to 
fraud and doubt than does that of Spiritualism. 
Because, in the first place, all the rarest and most 
important occurrences always take place in ob- 
scurity, and no experimenter can receive as 
proved truth events which take place in the dark 

1 See Abbott, Behind the Scenes with the Mediums, Chicago, 
1907 ; Carrington, The Physical Phenomena of Spiritualism, Boston, 
Small, Maynard & Co., 1907 ; etc. 



TRICKS, TELEPATHY, ETC. 305 

where they cannot be well controlled and ob- 
served. Then, again, the mediums themselves, 
whether involuntarily or not, often yield to deceit, 
and indeed are inclined that way; for, being for 
the most part hysterics, and false, as are all 
hysterics, when they feel their mediumistic power 
at the ebb, they want to supplement it by artifice. 
Some, being extremely suggestionable (as indeed 
they all are), engage in trickery in obedience to 
the secret urging of some hostile person present, 
as Eusapia once told me, who at Genoa had felt 
some one secretly ordering her to cheat and felt 
impelled to obey. 

Let us not speak, then, of false mediums, hire- 
ling impostors, and jugglers by profession, who 
swarm in localities and countries where the belief 
in Spiritualism is most widely diffused. There 
is a regular literature of this subject, especially 
an American literature, that makes us acquainted 
with a whole arsenal of special weapons and ap- 
paratus used, it is said, by mediums in their cun- 
ning juggleries; such as false beards, masks, 
garments of finest muslin, phosphorescent sub- 
stances, chairs containing hollow places from 
which the medium slyly draws forth his masks, 
or else with springs which, unbending, allow him 
to simulate true levitation. 

Even Eusapia is not an exception to the gen- 
eral rule. We have seen that she has many artful 
wiles, both in the trance state and out of it. For 

20 



306 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

example, she was once seen freeing one of the 
hands held by her controllers, in order to move 
a certain object near her or to give the raps; 
slowly lifting with one knee or with one of her 
feet the legs of the table; or feigning to adjust 
her hair, and slyly pulling out a hair in order to 
lower the balance-tray on a letter-weigher. She 
was also seen by Faifofer furtively gathering 
flowers before the sittings that she might claim 
them in the evening to be apports, 1 taking advan- 
tage of the darkness of the room. It seems, also, 
that she had learned from some mountebank or 
other certain special tricks, such, for instance, as 
simulating human faces by movements of her 
two hands wrapped around with a handkerchief 
folded in the shape of a turban. And yet her 
chief grievance, even during the seance, is to 
hear herself accused of fraud, — sometimes, it 
must be confessed, unjustly so, for it is now cer- 
tain that supernumerary spectral limbs are su- 
perimposed on her true limbs and act as their 
substitutes. These phantom doubles used to be 
often taken for her normal arms. 

Add to this the fact that no movement at 
seances takes place except in the immediate vicin- 
ity of the psychic, and especially in contact with 
her skirts, which makes some suspect artifice. 
Then it looks suspicious that the fluidic element 

1 Objects brought in through walls and closed doors and windows at 
stances by mysterious agency. — Translator. 



TRICKS, TELEPATHY, ETC. 307 

gathers strength in the darkness and behind the 
material stuff of draperies, such as the portieres 
of the medium's cabinet, from which so fre- 
quently come the materializations. 

Again, when we seek to give precision to me- 
diumistic manifestations by special mechanisms, 
the mediums often purposely cause them to de- 
ceive us, — not to speak of the fact that often, in 
experimental work, under identical conditions 
we do not get identical phenomena. (Thus some 
few mediums can operate in the light, while the 
greater number cannot. ) Add that most of them 
show a vulgarity in strange contrast with the 
manifestations, apparently supernatural, of which 
it is supposed they are trying to give a demon- 
stration, although even these manifestations often 
exhibit a vulgarity not seldom mingled with 
obscenity, in too sharp contrast with their pseudo- 
divine character. 

To these objections, which are not without 
weight, we may reply, first of all, that no one 
denies the genuineness of the work of the photog- 
rapher, in spite of the fact that he cannot de- 
velop his plates without darkness ; and this truth, 
as Richet observes, by analogy may help us to 
understand how light may impede the develop- 
ment of mediumistic phenomena. On the other 
hand, thanks to the well-known contradictions 
that prevail in this field, we know of mediums — 
Slade and Home, for example — who could oper- 



308 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

ate in full light; and in full light are revealed 
the strange wonders, or rather miracles, of the 
Hindu fakirs, so strange that the mere descrip- 
tion of them makes us doubt. And Eusapia, also, 
although in general in her trances she is refrac- 
tory and full of suffering, exhibits in full light 
an extraordinary series of phenomena, — such 
as modifications of the dynamometer and of the 
balance, or scales, and the moving of an enor- 
mous wardrobe. Modifications such as these 
that take place in the balance and the dynamom- 
eter prove that not rarely the precise methods of 
science can be applied with advantage to these 
phenomena so refractory to scientific treatment. 

It is true that there are mediums, as I have 
just said, so cantankerous that at first they delib- 
erately make the instruments speak false. But it 
will be readily understood that even they hate in- 
novation, and are therefore averse to new mech- 
anisms; and so, for that matter, is the whole 
human race. Indeed, Richet observed that the 
substituting of one table for another, as also the 
introduction of a new individual into the chain of 
experimenters, frequently interrupted the series 
of spiritistic phenomena. " The introduction of a 
new element," he adds, " into the conditions of 
an experiment does not always conduce to its 
success, especially when the experiment is con- 
cerned with things unknown or partly so." 

Then, again, means and measures were taken 



TRICKS, TELEPATHY, ETC. 309 

in the case of Eusapia to guarantee against any 
trickery whatever, — such as tying her hands 
and feet, or netting them in a circuit of electric 
wires discharging into an electric bell, which in 
turn sounded on the slightest movement of the 
medium's feet. The psychic Politi was brought 
to the Psychical Society of Milan enclosed naked 
in a woollen sack. Madame D'Esperance was en- 
closed in a net, like a fish, and yet in this condi- 
tion she procured the appearance of the phan- 
tasm Yolanda. The same thing occurred with 
Miss Cook, who was surrounded by electric wires 
in such a way that she could not move her limbs 
without interrupting the circuit, and yet her Katie 
King appeared, moved about, and wrote, wmile 
the medium was in the cataleptic state. 

And there have been physical experiments that 
have the gravity and importance of all experi- 
ments made, as they were, with exact instru- 
ments, especially since they were controlled, or 
authenticated, by the photograph. However true 
it may be that spirit photographs have been 
abused and made the subject of fraud, — for ex- 
ample, through an imprint made on the surface 
of the plate by a thin pellicle, either by utilizing 
certain chemical rays or certain substances, such 
as bisulphate of quinine, which, invisible to our 
eyes, are gathered in by the object glass of the 
camera, so that a skull painted on the forehead 
with this substance appears afterwards when the 



310 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

plate is developed, — still every suspicion be- 
comes weaker when it is a question of photo- 
graphs made before a special commission of ex- 
perts and men of indisputable fame, such as 
Zollner, Finzi, Aksakoff, Volpi, and Carreras. 

" Even the simplest of spiritualistic phenom- 
ena/' says Brofferio (Per lo Spiritismo, pp. 33 
et seq.), " could not be imitated without some 
study, and, above all, without considerable prac- 
tice, which would be a difficult thing to hide. 
Writing or speaking is a very easy thing; but 
writing by putting one hand on a small hamper, 
or on a violin, to which is attached a pencil; or 
to write with impetuous haste while talking with 
some one; nay, to vary the handwriting every 
time a new spirit speaks, and to write the replies 
without mixing them up, — to do such things as 
this one would think would absolutely require 
preparation. The matter will seem still stranger 
to us if we stop to think that writing-mediums 
are numbered by hundreds. Of course one can 
conceive of some eccentric individual who might 
find amusement in a continuous imposture, use- 
less and difficult as it is. But to think that this 
kind of a vocation could become epidemic is 
preposterous. 

" Add that frequently the capacity for evil 
doing is lacking, as when, for example, the me- 
dium is a child. Imposture in writing-mediums 
seems to me absolutely impossible when a medium 




Fig. 56. Madame D'Esperance enveloped by the Net. 



TRICKS, TELEPATHY, ETC. 311 

writes one communication with the right hand 
and another with the left, and gives a third viva 
voce, or when the letters of the alphabet are indi- 
cated to the medium by means of the planchette, 
but without his seeing them, and with the order 
of the letters changed. . . . 

" The prestidigitators," continues Brofferio, 
" have not so far imitated spiritistic phenomena, 
except when they have been able to secure certain 
conditions. The first is that they should have 
with them all the requirements that the mediums 
have, and take all the precautions that the me- 
diums take. The prestidigitator performs the 
trick which he has prepared beforehand, and it 
is useless to ask him to give another or to give it 
before or after something else. On the other 
hand, the phenomena obtained with the psychic 
are often such as are asked for, though not 
always, because the occult intelligence that pro- 
duces them has also a will of its own. 

" Indeed, the committee of the English Dialect 
Society has even gone the length of desiring that 
during mediumistic experiments the mediums 
should be watched by two of the best prestidigi- 
tators of London. 

" The idea that the wonders of Spiritualism 
can be imitated is a widely diffused one among 
the public, but it is certainly not the opinion of 
the conjurors themselves. Jacob, prestidigita- 
tor of the Robert Houdin Theatre in Paris, and 



312 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

Bellacchini, prestidigitator of the Court at Berlin, 
left declarations with the medium Slade to the 
effect that they could not do the things he did. 
Trollope (cited by Wallace) relates that Bosco, 
one of the most skilled conjurors that ever lived, 
used to laugh immoderately at the belief that the 
phenomena produced by Home could be thought 
imitable by the resources of his art. 

" One cause of the so-called unmaskings of 
mediums is the current prepossession that the 
phenomena cannot be true. There are illusions 
of credulity, but there are also illusions produced 
by incredulity. Even the incredulous are in a 
state of expectant attention, which leads them 
to see what does not occur. If they do not see it, 
they divine it. They understand everything, they 
can explain everything. They have such fear 
of being made fun of that they do the mocking 
all by themselves, and to avoid the improbable 
they invent the impossible. 

" And the same causes that produce the ' un- 
maskings ' produce the legal prosecutions. The 
legal trial of Slade was set on foot in the inter- 
ests of science, and the sentence was in part based 
on considerations drawn from the known course 
of nature. Hence the judgment of the court was 
derived from a prejudice, namely, that ' the 
known course of nature excludes the possibility 
of mediumistic phenomena. Now no one can 
accomplish the impossible, but only feign to do 



TRICKS, TELEPATHY, ETC. 313 

so. Therefore all mediums are impostors.' The 
logical outcome of this is that Spiritualists who 
believe in the possibility of ' impossible ' things 
are imbeciles. So they are never called experts 
(although they are the only experts there are, 
and hence the only competent witnesses), and 
when they are heard as witnesses they are not 
believed. 

" Finally, in regard to the spurious phenomena 
produced by mediumistic impostors, by presti- 
digitators, and by sceptics, the Spiritualists reply 
with Hellenbach that wigs do not prove that there 
are no genuine heads of hair, sets of false teeth 
that there are no natural sets; and so with 
counterfeit money, dishonest packs of cards, etc. 
When I have seen real facts, it is useless for Tyn- 
dall to come to me and say there are many pseudo- 
facts. I know that coffee is also made with 
chicory, with acorns, and with dried figs. I know 
very well that it is not a sufficient guarantee to 
buy it unground, for an importing grocer has 
assured me that even the coffee beans are manu- 
factured out of coffee grounds, and so skilfully 
that I could not distinguish them from the real. 
And yet, since I have sometimes drunk true 
coffee, I am therefore (as respects coffee) in that 
state of mind spoken of by Tyndall : I am afflicted 
with an incurable credulity. Not even a Conti- 
nental blockade that would deprive us of coffee 
all the rest of our lives could cure me of the illu- 



3H AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

sion that such places as Mocha and Porto Rico 
exist. It is true that a phantasm differs a good 
deal from a cup of coffee; but the difference de- 
pends on this, that all who go to Naples go to 
the Caffe Nuovo, while nobody asks where Eusa- 
pia lives." 

TELEPATHY 

Those who shy at the hypothesis of the spirits 
of the dead as operant psychical agents have tried 
other explanations, — such as that the medium 
gets from the brain of the sitters the response to 
questions, and even images of phantasms, which 
she then projects in visible form. But leaving 
out of the account that this projection of phan- 
tasms does not occur in any other condition of 
life, — above all in such a way as to assume 
the pulse-beats, warmth, and weight of the living 
body, — I might perhaps admit that from some 
member of the company who knows a foreign 
language the medium acquires a temporary 
knowledge of the language itself, and also an ex- 
temporized acquaintance with physics and chem- 
istry, just as he attains to faiths and philosophies, 
so that while he is an atheist in a group of athe- 
ists, he becomes pious in a pious company; but 
I do not understand how he can possibly obtain 
from those present what they themselves do not 
know, as when he speaks in the Hawaiian tongue, 
which no one present knows anything about. 



TRICKS, TELEPATHY, ETC. 315 

I could understand how there might be telepathy 
in the case of Stainton Moses, who saw the ap- 
parition of one of his friends at the moment when, 
just before going to sleep, he fixed his thought 
upon him, or in the case of M. D., who appeared 
to two women after he had strongly desired to 
show himself to them. But, as James Hyslop 
says, the successive appearance before mediums 
of various communicators — five, six, ten times, 
with accurately individualized personalities — 
cannot be explained by telepathy. And we see 
in the seances of Mrs. Piper how what we must 
assume to be communicating spirits who did not 
know Mr. Hodgson knew how to indicate him. 
The very errors of the communications exclude 
the hypothesis of telepathy, while, on the other 
hand, they are well accounted for as the result 
of the difficulties that would beset beings who 
were endeavoring to develop their powers in the 
new sphere of life to which they had attained. 

Telepathy cannot reveal events to come nor 
what happens to a dead person ; as when Madame 
Meurier twice dreamed of seeing at the foot of 
her bed her decapitated brother, his head depos- 
ited on a coffin. In this case there can be no ques- 
tion of telepathy, since he was already dead when 
she saw him. In fact he had been decapitated 
by Chinese rebels. Hence the news was brought 
by some other intelligence than his living intelli- 
gence, for he could not transmit information of 



316 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

what was to happen to him after his death (Wal- 
lace, p. 344). 

Again, we are told that the Rev. W., while 
writing his congratulations to a friend on his 
birthday, heard a voice saying repeatedly, " Why 
are you writing to a dead man ? " His friend was 
really dead at that hour. The voice could not 
have been that of a living being, but served the 
purpose of advising him of his friend's death. 

And so when there are announcements as to 
the future. Miss Curtis dreams of seeing a 
woman pass near her, then of finding her on the 
street, surrounded by a crowd, some of whom say 
she is alive, others that she is dead. The woman 
was a certain Miss C, her friend. Now the next 
morning Miss C. fell in the street, making herself 
ill. But how could telepathy enable her to see 
what had not yet occurred? 

A certain New Zealand vicar was about to take 
a fishing trip to an island, in company with cer- 
tain friends, who were to come to fetch him at 
dawn. As he was going upstairs, and afterwards 
in his room, he heard a voice say, " Don't go." 
And when he said, " But what shall I do when 
they come to call me ? " " Lock yourself in," re- 
plied the voice. He comprehended that a dan- 
ger was threatening him and decided not to 
accompany his friends. In the morning he 
learned that they had been drowned during the 
excursion. Here it could not have been the 



TRICKS, TELEPATHY, ETC. 317 

drowned persons who gave the warning, but 
other spirits to whom the future is not unknown. 

" Telepathy/' says Brofferio (op. cit., pp. 237 
et seq.), " is a double-edged weapon. If the 
phantasms of the living render useless those of 
the dead, they make them also a possibility. If 
a living being can appear and act at places dis- 
tant from its body, that makes for the hypothesis 
that it can appear and act even when its body 
no longer exists. If the figure [or eidolon] of 
the body can separate itself from the body, it will 
perhaps be able to survive it. This is only an 
hypothesis. It is possible, on the other hand, that 
the apparition of a living being is the physiolog- 
ical action of one organism on another. But this 
also is at present only an hypothesis. 

" But there is another positively decisive rea- 
son against the objection drawn from telepathy. 
When the phantasm seen and photographed does 
not resemble the medium, it cannot be an appari- 
tion of the medium. Then, again, when we get 
several phantasms different from the medium, 
the hypothesis of action by the double of the 
medium ought to be rigidly excluded. There is 
one other possibility to be considered, — the 
action of living personalities at a distance. But, 
when the departed are positively recognized, even 
this supposition is no longer admissible." 



318 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

THE UNCONSCIOUS 

Another solution might be found in the uncon- 
scious self. Indeed some psychic phenomena find 
their explanation in that singular state of the 
brain in which latent energies are set in motion, 
of which we have no consciousness and which 
develop a marvellous power. 

Such, indeed, is the moment of the inspiration 
of genius (the poetic oestrus), which for so many- 
reasons resembles the psychic state of the epi- 
leptic when in his fit. But putting forth bud and 
leaf, not in the brain of the vulgar convulsionary, 
but in that of the great genius, it gives us an in- 
spired work instead of atrocious blasphemy or a 
black crime or a motor spasm. 

" I often feel," writes Beaconsfield, " that there 
is only a step from intense mental concentration 
to madness. I should hardly be able to describe 
what I feel at the moment when my sensations 
are so strangely acute and intense. Every object 
seems to me animated. I feel that my senses are 
wild and extravagant. I am no longer sure of 
my own existence, and often look at a book to see 
my name written there and thus be assured of my 
existence." 

Similar are the confessions of St. Paul, of 
Nietzsche, and of Dostoievsky. 

" Suddenly " (writes the last named, in Bezi), 
" something opened before him, an extraordinary 



TRICKS, TELEPATHY, ETC. 319 

internal light illumined his soul. This lasted 
perhaps half a second. 1 

" There are moments (it is something that only 
lasts five or six seconds) in which you suddenly 
feel the presence of the eternal harmony. 

" This phenomenon is neither terrestrial nor 
celestial; it is a clear and indisputable sentiment. 
All at once you seem to be in contact with all 
nature, and you say, ' Yes, this is true.' " 

See also what Berlioz writes, in his Memoires 
(p. 246) : 

" The empty void forms around my palpitating 
breast, and it seems to me that my heart, under 
the inspiration of an irresistible force, is evaporat- 
ing and will dissolve by force of expansion. Then 
the skin of my entire body becomes burning hot 
and gives me the sensation of pain ; my face and 
my whole body become red as fire. I should like 
to cry out, to call some one to my aid, that he 
might console me, guard me, keep me from rush- 
ing to destruction by holding in check the life 
which is fleeing from me. 

" I have no idea of death during this crisis. 
The idea of suicide is not endurable by me. I 
do not wish to die; I wish rather to live, with a 
thousand-fold increase of energy. It is an atti- 
tude prodigiously prolific of happiness, and a 
frenzy of activity that cannot be subdued except 

1 See Dr. R. M. Bucke's Cosmic Consciousness. Philadelphia : 
Innes & Sons, 1901. — Translator. 



320 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

by immense, all-devouring, furious enjoyments 
which shall tally the incalculable superabundance 
of sensitiveness. " 

Hear also the great Beethoven: 

" Inspiration is for me that mysterious state 
in which the entire world seems to form a vast 
harmony, when every sentiment, every thought, 
re-echoes within me, when all the forces of nature 
become instruments for me, when my whole body 
shivers and my hair stands on end." 

It is evident from these instances that where 
there is a maximum of productivity on the part 
of genius there is the minimum of consciousness. 
And so we understand how the creations of 
genius may be justified or confirmed by the 
dreams of the world's great men. 

It is really extraordinary, the part that dreams 
play in the creations of genius. 

It is well known that in his dreams Goethe 
solved many weighty scientific problems and put 
into words many most beautiful verses. So also 
La Fontaine (The Fable of Pleasures) and Cole- 
ridge and Voltaire. Bernard Palissy had in a 
dream the inspiration for one of his most beauti- 
ful ceramic pieces. 

The same thing is revealed in the Confessions 
of Daudet and of Maury. " I have had while 
dreaming," says Maury, " thoughts and projects 
the execution and the direction of which denoted 
just as much intelligence as I possessed when 



TRICKS, TELEPATHY, ETC. 321 

awake; or, rather, I have had in dream ideas and 

inspirations that could never have entered my 

consciousness when awake. Thus in a dream in 

which I found myself face to face with a person 

who had been introduced to me two days before, 

there came to me a doubt as to his morality which 

I would not have had when awake." 

Daudet created in a dream the following 

verses : 

A Julie. 

Ainsi ne faut-il quand verrez l'heure supreme 
Vous depiter, ni pleurer, ni crier, 
Mais, ramenant vos pensees en un meme; 
Ne faire un que de tout ce qui vous aime, 
Regarder ce, joindre mains et prier. 

Notes sur la Vie, 1890. 

Holde composed while in a dream La Phan- 
tasie, which reflects in its harmony its origin; 
and Nodier created Lydia, and at the same time 
a whole theory on the future of dreaming. Con- 
dillac in dream finished a lecture interrupted the 
evening before. Kruger, Corda, and Maignan 
solved in dreams mathematical problems and 
theorems. Robert Louis Stevenson, in his Chap- 
ter on Dreams, confesses that portions of his 
most original novels were composed in the dream- 
ing state. Tartini had while dreaming one of his 
most portentous musical inspirations. It was 
April (he says), and through the half-open 
window of his little room there was blowing a 

21 



322 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

smart breeze, when all at once his eyelids drooped, 
then closed, and it seemed to him that he saw a 
spectral form approaching him. It is Beelzebub 
in person. He holds a magic violin in his hands, 
and the sonata begins. It is a divine adagio, 
melancholy-sweet, a lament, a dizzy succession 
of rapid and intense notes. Tartini rouses him- 
self, leaps out of bed, seizes his violin, and re- 
produces on the magical instrument all that he 
had heard played in his sleep. He names it the 
Sonata del Diavolo, one of the best of his works. 

Giovanni Dupre got in a dream the conception 
of his very beautiful Pieta. One sultry sum- 
mer day Dupre was lying on a divan thinking 
hard on what kind of pose he should choose for the 
Christ. He fell asleep, and in dream saw the 
entire group at last complete, with Christ in the 
very pose he had been aspiring to conceive, but 
which his mind had not succeeded in completely 
realizing. 

The powerful influence the dream has on the 
genius is accounted for, as we have just seen, by 
the potent sway of the unconscious over his soul. 
Indeed it is the extreme ascendency of this that 
explains also how genius becomes subject to dis- 
tractions of mind and temporary loss of memory, 
or amnesia. These symptoms recall very accu- 
rately the loss of memory in epileptics. 

Illustrations of the absent-mindedness of genius 
are over-abundant. 



TRICKS, TELEPATHY, ETC. 323 

" One day," writes Dr. Veretz, " Meissonier 
said to Dumas, ' If Giraud is not dead, I must 
have met him yesterday, and yet I did not recog- 
nize him and greeted him coldly. I afterwards 
remembered that it was the face of a friend, and 
now I realize that it must have been he/ and 
thereupon he ran to beg him to excuse him." 

Grossi absent-mindedly destroyed in the toilet- 
room many pages of his Marco Visconti. 

And here is Terti coming out of a conversa- 
zione salon with two hats in his hand, yet anx- 
iously inquiring everywhere for his own ( Stampa, 
S. Manzoni, vol. ii.). 

Walter Scott, hearing some one sing at a social 
reception certain verses, said, " That is Byron's 
stuff " ; but the verses were his own. 

When Froude was talking with Carlyle about 
the posthumous publication of his Memoirs, Car- 
lyle said he had forgotten everything he had 
written in them. 

Manzoni's fits of distraction were very strange, 
although he was endowed with so marvellous a 
memory that he knew by heart the whole of Vir- 
gil and Horace. Once in a dispute about some 
historical topic it occurred to him to see what 
Gibbon said about it, and he found in the volume 
a marginal note by himself on the very point 
under discussion. " See what a memory I have ! " 
he said, laughing. Another time he sent a book 
to a friend by mail, sealed so as to require full 



324 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

letter postage, thus causing a useless and rela- 
tively heavy expense to the donee, whose pardon 
he was obliged to ask afterwards. Once, when 
conversing with a friend, he cited a sentence that 
seemed to him admirable, but could not remember 
where he had found it. "I suspect," said the friend, 
" that it is yours " (Dialogo delV Invenzione). 

Several monographs have been written on the 
absent-minded doings of Ponchielli and Galuppi. 
Thus, according to Mandelli, Ponchielli used to 
go out sometimes in military uniform, with a 
stovepipe hat on his head and slippers on his feet. 
When it rained, he would often keep his umbrella 
shut and get a good wetting. He used to sip his 
coffee while playing billiards, and would often 
attempt to chalk the end of the cue with the 
sugar, and be in despair because he could not 
succeed. One day he was invited somewhere to 
dine, but went instead, at the appointed hour, to 
the inn, where he was disposing of the last mouth- 
fuls when they came in search of him. On an- 
other occasion he was eating with an invited 
friend, and, sitting next a colonel, unknown to 
him, he took his wine and drank it all. 

But unconscious is not equivalent to non- 
existent. The subconscious powers may bring 
to the surface, and join in a prolific marriage, 
ideas and facts that had been forgotten, or nearly 
so, and which therefore had not existed at all in 
the active consciousness of the individual, but 



TRICKS, TELEPATHY, ETC. 325 

they cannot do the same for facts which he had 
never learned. 

Hence, if we may concede to Flournoy (From 
the Earth to the Planet Mars) that the medium 
Smith, when she says she is speaking the Martian 
language, has received unconscious suggestions 
from old recollections of her own, or of persons 
present, about foreign tongues (and we can un- 
derstand how, in the exaltation of the spiritistic 
trance, scattered and fragmentary notions might 
take shape, in the same way that, under the ex- 
citement of the oestrus of genius, latent and frag- 
mentary ideas start into life all at once and are 
bodied forth in some discovery), — if we may 
concede, I say, to Flournoy that the medium has 
received such unconscious suggestions, we still 
are unable to go with him when he affirms that 
by the theory of the subconscious can also be 
explained the forty words of Sanskrit and the 
verses dictated by the same Flournoy, solely in 
virtue of the fact that she had seen the cover of 
a Sanskrit grammar. Nor is it possible for her 
to have been able to reproduce the exact signa- 
tures of the mayor and the curate of a village in 
a remote district living at a remote epoch (1839), 
simply from her having once taken a pedestrian, 
but not a paleographic, trip through a neighbor- 
ing valley. 1 

1 Nor can we admit the unconscious when the medium is beaten or 
scorched by the spirit, — a thing that he must object to even in his un- 
conscious states of thought. 



326 AFTER DEATH --WHAT? 

If one end of a thread is tied to a woman's 
finger and the other end to a ring that dangles 
in the centre of an empty goblet, her age can be 
known, even though she is unwilling to tell it, 
because the ring will tinkle as many times as she 
has consciously lived years. This is very true; 
but the woman knows the number of years. 
Hence one part of the enigma is cleared up. But 
when the spirit speaks Chinese to a European 
who is ignorant of the language, but understands 
it while in trance, there is no use in talking of the 
unconscious, because in this case even the uncon- 
scious has to work upon acquired cognitions. 

So Hyslop might get information about his 
father's black skullcap, his pocket-knife, and his 
habit of using in his talk old saws and proverbs, 
from the depths of his own unconscious memory 
of his early youth. But when Uncle Jerry spoke 
to Lodge about the danger he was in of drown- 
ing, with his brother Robert, and recalled how 
the other brother Frank climbed upon the roof 
of a shed to hide himself, these were things that 
happened in the youth of Professor Lodge's 
father, and of which he was entirely ignorant. 

And so we may say of cryptomnesia [or un- 
conscious memory]. Under certain circum- 
stances, e.g., when I am at a great altitude, say 
six or seven thousand feet, I remember Italian, 
Latin, and even Greek verses which had been 
forgotten for years. But I know very well that 



TRICKS, TELEPATHY, ETC. 327 

I read them in early youth. Similarly, during 
certain dreams in nights when I am afflicted with 
conditions showing intestinal poisonings, dis- 
agreeable moments of years previous (e.g., the 
examinations made in 1896) are reproduced with 
precision, and with particulars so minute and 
exact that I could not possibly recall them when 
awake. Yet I observe that they are always frag- 
mentary and incomplete recollections and depend 
more on the condition of the sentiments than on 
the intelligence. 

During the night preceding his setting out to 
revisit his native village, which he had not seen 
for twenty years, Maury dreamed of meeting a cer- 
tain man, who said to him, " Good-day, Signor 
Maury." Maury replied, in substance, " Ex- 
cuse me, my dear sir, but I have not the pleasure 
of knowing you." The other, amazed and almost 
offended, declined to give his name, but said he 
was a friend of his father's, and tried to recall 
to his mind things that had happened in his boy- 
hood in which they had mutually participated. 
All was in vain. Maury woke up smiling at the 
eccentric fellow who claimed to recognize him. 
But when he reached his native town one of the 
first persons he saw was the person who had 
recognized him in his dream, only he was older 
than in the dream, for he had dreamed of him as 
he was when he knew him many years previous. 
So his subconscious double during the dream had 



328 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

remembered and recognized that which his con- 
scious ego no longer knew (Brofferio, op. cit., 
p. 188). 

We can understand as phenomena of cryptom- 
nesia what Aksakoff recalls on the spur of the 
moment during the trance of Cardosio; and so 
of the inscription in a book of his, Nemek ha- 
bacha, though he declared he had never seen 
those words ; but this solution will not fit the case 
of a medium reading the last line of the last page 
of a book on a certain shelf of the library, the 
name of which he did not know. Nor will cryp- 
tomnesia explain the medium's revealing to him 
not merely the name of a certain person named 
Gray, who lived in 1628, but his being able to 
employ that person's own handwriting (see 
Chapter X). 



CHAPTER XIV 

Biology of the Spirits 

The facts relating to the activity of phantasms 1 
are so numerous and so well proved that we can 
permit ourselves to construct their biology and 
their psychology. The phantasmal forms appear 
to us in the form of lights and ignes fatui, or else 
in the form of hands, or even the images of 
men, though rarely complete in shape. These 
images are frequently preceded by a luminous 
vapor in the room, and more often on the head 
and on the abdomen of the medium, — a vapor 
which always keeps getting more and more con- 
densed until it assumes corporeal form. This 
shape passes from the immediate vicinity of the 
medium or the seance cabinet to some distance 
away and even moves around the room, making 
gestures and, more rarely, speaking, while the 
psychic in the mean time is in a state of supreme 
lethargy. 

" As soon as I have entered the mediumistic 
cabinet," says D'Esperance, " my first impression 

1 According to Davin, sixty per cent of mediumistic phenomena 
should be attributed to spirits, sixteen per cent to auto-suggestion, and 
the rest to the action of the medium. But these calculations are mere 
inventions or guesses. 



330 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

is of being covered with spider-webs. Then I 
feel that the air is filled with substance, and a kind 
of white and vaporous mass, quasi-luminous, like 
the steam from a locomotive, is formed in front 
of the abdomen. After this mass has been tossed 
and agitated in every way for some minutes, 
sometimes even for half an hour, it suddenly 
stops, and then out of it is born a living being 
close by me." 

Phantasms are covered with a white woven 
stuff, extremely fine, sometimes doubled, tripled, 
and even quadrupled. They seem to draw it out 
from the clothes of the medium. This medium- 
istic tissue is indispensable, as Katie King said to 
Crookes, as the envelope of their fluidic organ- 
ism and to keep it from dissolving in the light. 
Many, however, keep to the old fashions of their 
time and country, thus affording another proof 
of their identity. Frequently, when they find 
a difficulty in forming themselves, or (so to 
speak) solidifying themselves, completely, be- 
sides the assistance rendered by their medium- 
istic garments, they have recourse to that of the 
portieres of the cabinet, wrapping themselves in 
these before they thrust out hands, arms, or head. 
The head is thus divined (rather than observed di- 
rectly) by means of the profile or by touching it. 

In mediumistic sculptures or imprints, also, 
they need to use this tissue, the impression of 
which is distinctly seen on the gypsum or plaster 



BIOLOGY OF THE SPIRITS 331 

moulds. The phantasm materializes and grows 
out of the material substance of the medium, and 
certain ones have been observed to take on fre- 
quently a noteworthy increase in weight of body 
at the expense of that of the medium. Colonel 
Alcott, who in 1874 was experimenting with the 
psychic Compton, observed that, when the young 
girl-phantasm " K " appeared, the body of the 
psychic disappeared. Then he tied (and sealed 
with sealing wax) a string passing from the 
aperture of the medium's ear to the back of the 
chair in which she sat. Out of the invisible now 
stalks the spirit, which is at first found to weigh 
yy pounds, later 58, and later still 52. In the 
mean time the medium had disappeared, but re- 
appeared as soon as the phantasm had gone, yet 
without pulse or breath. 1 

So D'Esperance in 1893, while forming for 
herself Yolanda, saw that she herself had lost 
her knees and feet. But, if she touched the place 
where they normally should be, she felt pain. 
Hence an invisible part of them existed. This 
disappearance of the lower extremities was veri- 
fied by many. Aksakoff himself made investiga- 
tions among those who had seen her dematerialize 
herself. She herself directed the hands of the 
experimenters present in order that they might 
ascertain and thoroughly verify the disappear- 
ance of her legs. The witnesses authenticated 

1 Aksakoff, Un Cas de Materialisation Partiel. Paris, 1896. 



332 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

the fact that her dress during the dematerializa- 
tion hung vertically close up to the chair, and that 
then it filled out again without the medium mov- 
ing from her seat. While all this was going on, 
she was affected with severe prostration and ex- 
perienced inordinate thirst, whereas under other 
circumstances she never drank. Gradually, as 
Yolanda disappeared, her sense of emptiness and 
of prostration diminished and she regained her 
strength. In one of Eusapia's levitation seances, 
also, Dr. Vezzano noticed that her lower limbs 
were lacking, and " John " explained that it was 
he who had caused them to dematerialize in order 
that her weight might be less for the levitation. 

In the experiments in Paris it was found that 
during the levitation of a table the weight of the 
medium diminished just the amount that the table 
weighed, returning to the normal amount after 
the levitation had ceased. 

Miss Fairland, sewed into a hammock which 
allowed the registration of the variations in her 
weight under the eyes of all the spectators, pre- 
sented a gradual diminution to the extent of sixty 
pounds, — the half of her ordinary weight. As 
soon as a complete phantasm appeared, it began 
to walk about. When it disincarnated itself, the 
weight of the medium returned almost to its nor- 
mal amount, so that at the end of the seance it 
had diminished by only three pounds (Psychische 
Studien, 1881). 



BIOLOGY OF THE SPIRITS 333 

Experiments with the medium Miss Wood re- 
vealed the fact (at the third seance) that the 
weight of the phantasm amounted to the half of 
that of the medium (Light, 1886). This same 
medium (Wood) was weighed by the balance of 
Blackbourne before and during the seance. Be- 
fore she weighed 176 pounds. With the appear- 
ance of the phantasm this weight diminished to 
83 and afterwards to 54 pounds. The weight of 
the phantasm was at first one-half and later 
seventy-five per cent of that of the medium. 

The human forms assumed by the spirits are 
not such as properly belong to their existence, 
but form temporary incarnations by which they 
may make themselves known to us, and may 
therefore be extremely variable. They fre- 
quently take on the physiognomy, the voice, the 
gestures of the medium, but exhibit this peculi- 
arity, that they change sometimes even in the 
same day, and assume an individual physiog- 
nomy and an individual moral character which 
may last for months (as in the case of Walter) 
and for years (as in the case of Katie King). 

This metamorphic power the phantasms fre- 
quently transmit to their medium. Allan Kardec 
tells of a young girl of fifteen who would repro- 
duce not merely the face, but the stature, mass, 
and weight of deceased persons, especially her 
brother. So Madame Krooke one evening saw 
her own face changed; she observed a thick 



334 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

black beard, and her son-in-law recognized by it 
his dead father. A little after her face changed 
into that of an old woman with white hair. But 
she preserved in the mean time her consciousness, 
yet felt through her entire body a pricking like 
that of a galvanic battery. 

The phantasmal personalities develop, in the 
presence of the medium (especially under the in- 
fluence of anger or offended vanity), a dynamo- 
metric force which once reached as high as ioo 
to no kilograms, and often attains to 80 and 90. 
With Bottazzi it went to 93. 

Then there is the remarkable force exhibited 
(even at a distance from the medium) in haunted 
castles, — a force that opens very heavy doors 
and windows and flings showers of stones, not 
merely down, but up. It appears, however, from 
the confessions of the phantasms, that the forces 
acquired by them from the mediums rapidly 
diminish. The graphic registrations obtained 
with the drum of Marey, which was in communi- 
cation with a rotating cylinder, traced very broad 
lines in two groups, the first with a duration of 
23 seconds, and the other with a duration of 18 
seconds. In each of the two groups it was clearly 
to be seen that the force diminished with con- 
siderable more rapidity than in the case of a 
medium or of a normal person. 

Crookes and Richet both observed that phan- 
tasms have the normal temperature, and normal 



BIOLOGY OF THE SPIRITS 335 

beating of the heart and arteries and respira- 
tory movements, and proved further (Richet) 
the expiration of carbonic acid gas. A pain ex- 
perienced by the phantasm is felt in the homolo- 
gous part by the medium, — as if one had struck 
her instead of the phantasmal being. When 
Yolanda was amorously assaulted by an in- 
truder in a seance, the psychic (who was at 
some distance away) fainted and became almost 
lifeless. 

Often the spirits of the dead are held by 
an irresistible attraction inseparably united to 
the house where they long lived, or to the tomb 
in which their bodies were placed, and make 
themselves visible when the tomb is visited 
(Stainton Moses). 

In cemeteries and places where sudden deaths 
occurred, Stainton Moses, the famous medium, 
noticed a great throng of phantasms that fol- 
lowed behind him as he walked. This explains 
(if we admit that chemistry has no solution for 
the phenomenon) the frequency of ignes fatui in 
cemeteries which (by returning at stated times 
and directing themselves from certain points to 
other well-determined points) seem to reveal 
thereby the expression of will. 

The phantasm has the negative property, so 
to speak, of dissolving under the influence of 
strong light, — as wax is melted by heat. This 
was noticed in two experiments with Katie King. 



336 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

We see by this how it is that phantasms do not 
manifest themselves in the daytime. 

In the particular sites mentioned above they 
have the power of acting at night, even apart 
from the presence of the medium; but they are 
never visible as phantasms except in the medium's 
presence. 

In Herlitzka's and Foa's experiments with 
Eusapia on a mercurial manometer, registrations 
were made that correspond to a pressure of 56 
millimetres, which, given the proportions of the 
elastic membrane, indicated a pressure of 10 
kilograms. 

We are unable to measure the velocity with 
which spirits move through space. It is so ex- 
traordinary that it almost approximates the 
velocity of the wave-vibrations of the luminif- 
erous ether. It seems to be 1000 kilometres 
[about 600 miles] in a half -hour (Sage, Piper), 

In the instance of the flying brothers of Bari 
[in Italy; see previous chapter] it was proved 
that they had been able to transfer themselves 
(as if they were discarnate) over a distance of 
45 kilometres [about 28 miles] in 15 minutes 
(facts authenticated and vouched for by the 
Bishop of Bari). See Lapponi, Spedizione e 
Spiriti. 

The spirits often, as we have seen, produce 
an effect on photographic plates without being 
themselves seen, and a phantasm left the im- 



BIOLOGY OF THE SPIRITS 337 

pression of four fingers on a photographic plate 
that was covered with three sheets of black 
paper. It is for this reason, as well as on ac- 
count of other phenomena detailed on previous 
pages of this volume (such as the discharging 
of the electroscope and the phenomena of ra- 
diant bands and luminous globes that occur in 
seances and appear as imprints on photographic 
plates) and on account of the peculiarity these 
phantasmal beings have of comporting them- 
selves under certain special tissues as gaseous 
bodies, that we have put forward the hypothesis 
that their molecular constitution resembles that 
of radio-active bodies. 

The phantasms show very little inclination to 
express themselves in words ; or, if they do, it is 
in a laconic form, as if it fatigued them to speak 
at length. Most frequently they use signs. Each 
one has a special kind of rap or a form of signal 
peculiar to him (or her). 

Not rarely in their graphic sign-language they 
employ symbolic forms used by ancient peoples 
and by the prophets. Thus the woman psychic 
" Walt," an automatic painter, once felt impelled 
to paint three little angels in the midst of the 
plants and foliage of India. On that very day 
died three small children friends, almost at the 
same time as a friend of hers in India. 

Here belong also instances of premonitions 
collected by Bozzano (Archives des Sc. Psych., 



33 8 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

1908). A mother saw flying in a deserted 
plain a little bird whose wings presently fell off. 
Soon after this vision her son died. Another 
saw a cataleptic in the house of a relative, whose 
death occurred soon afterwards. A lady ac- 
quaintance of mine one evening before going to 
sleep saw the image of a foot. She had been 
promised by another lady, her friend, that she 
would notify her in case of her being suddenly 
called away on a journey, and this was her un- 
conscious method of notification. In general it 
appears that the spirits are ardently desirous of 
making themselves known to the living, and their 
failures only spur them on to new attempts. 
Their end once gained, they disappear. They 
employ for that purpose ways to which they are 
most inured. 

Sometimes the spirits inflict themselves with 
impetuous violence upon a person to induce him 
to become their medium and thus enable them 
to communicate with the living, — as in the well- 
known case of Dr. Dexter. The Fox sisters were 
pestered by raps, denounced as impostors, and ex- 
communicated from the church. They tried to 
get away from the spirits by changing their 
residence and town ; but the blows and raps fol- 
lowed them and were constantly renewed. In 
like manner a certain spirit came many times 
to the seances of Stainton Moses to ask to be 
recognized. When he finally was so recognized 



BIOLOGY OF THE SPIRITS 339 

by the brother of a certain S. P., he ceased to 
appear. He had died thirteen years previously 
(Moses, op. cit.). 

According to Aksakoff, the spirit of a typog- 
rapher once printed in the journal for which 
he had worked the notice, " To-day at three 

o'clock died." Inasmuch as no one 

knew of the death, and would not have the time 
or the inclination to write such a communica- 
tion, it must have been his spirit that had 
evoked it. 

In spite of their eager desire to enter into 
relation with us, — perhaps to reveal their per- 
sonal power or to get news of friends and of 
events that have happened and of which in the 
beyond they are entirely ignorant, — the spirits 
show a strange aversion to revealing their names. 
In typtological communications they almost al- 
ways give false names, or refuse to give their 
exact appellation. Some assume pseudonyms, 
others take very strange titles such as " Impe- 
rator " and " Rector " in the case of Stainton 
Moses, or " Phinuit " and " Pelham " with Mrs. 
Piper. But, if in time they become intimate, they 
sometimes reveal their personality, and Moses 
knew the true names of Imperator and Rector. 

According to Moses, it seems as if, at the mo- 
ment of his death, the spirit finds the manifesta- 
tion of his personal existence more easy; and 
in support of this Moses adduced facts easily 



340 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

verifiable. But according to Hyslop it is neces- 
sary for some time to have elapsed ; for it seems 
as if, immediately after death, they remain for 
some days or months in a dumfounded or be- 
wildered state. But the declarations of Pelham 
to Mrs. Piper intimate a sudden astonishment, — 
something one might expect under conditions 
so new. Pelham thus describes the moment of 
death : " All was dark to me. Then conscious- 
ness returned, but in a dim twilight way, as 
when one wakens before dawn. When I com- 
prehended that I was not dead at all, I was glad." 
Aitkin Morton, also, who killed himself in a 
moment of despair, declared that after death he 
did not at first recognize any one, but afterwards 
remembered his own relatives and friends. 

In general, it appears that those who meet with 
unexpected death, especially in youth, renew the 
achievements and perform the actions which 
were habitual to them. Thus, after the sinking 
of an English ship of war, the phantasm of a 
sailor who belonged to the ship appeared at a 
seance in London and said that the spirits of 
sailors repeat in the other world the gait and 
gestures habitual to them on the high seas in this 
life. This assertion might seem fantastic, but it 
is confirmed primarily by the legends of many 
peoples, and also by what is observed in haunted 
castles and halls, — the continual pounding of 
hammers, the dragging of chains, the re-enacting 



BIOLOGY OF THE SPIRITS 341 

of crimes, and volleys of firearms kept up inter- 
minably, to the great despair of the proprietors. 

I know of a servant, drowned near the villa of 
his master, who reappears by night and rinses 
the bottles and water-jugs of his employer as if 
he were still in his service. 

Then, from the conversation of almost all the 
spirits, we learn that they have the whimsical 
hobby of not seeming dead at all and of contin- 
uing the habits of this life. If it is a physician, 
he continues to visit patients and give prescrip- 
tions ; if it is a theologian, he preaches to us, etc. 
Dr. Hyslop's father continued to say, " Give me 
my hat," just as when he used to hobble painfully 
forth to meet some visitor. They seem to be 
automatic acts and expressions, as if performed 
in the unconsciousness of sleep or somnambulism. 

In Mrs. Piper's forty-fifth seance with the two 
Lodges, the phantasmal personality calling him- 
self " Phinuit " presented a spirit named Rich, 
who asked to send expressions of affection to his 
father. " My father," said Rich, in another 
seance, " is much afflicted by my death. Tell him 
that I still live" (the usual remark of spirits). 
And again, " Where are my eyeglasses ? " and 
he touched his eyes with his hands; " father must 
have them, and my books too." 

Nobody present could make anything of all 
this. But it turned out that he wore eyeglasses, 
and that he was in the habit of saying, when 



342 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

living, just as in the spiritistic dialogue, " Thanks, 
a thousand times." 

According to Stainton Moses, the shades of 
the departed seem to retain beyond the veil all 
the desires and appetites, even evil ones, of this 
world, which they seek to satisfy by proxy, and 
ever keep urging incarnate men to involve them- 
selves in vice in spite of the efforts of more highly 
developed souls who seek to hinder them in their 
nefarious task. In this way we might explain 
how it is that many men, and especially mediums, 
are the victims of spirits, who play them atro- 
cious tricks, — throw water on their heads, pull 
the coverlets off their beds, and burn their clothes 
and the furniture of their houses, until they are 
obliged to pack up and decamp (Aksakoff, 
p. 297). 

They are especially in the habit of breaking 
glass objects. In St. Petersburg a shower of 
stones fell upon the carriage of Mr. Phelps. He 
set down the facts in a note-book and the book 
was destroyed. He once had some spiritistic 
writings in a small box or drawer, and the papers 
took fire while inside and the smoke did not ap- 
pear until they were burned up (Aksakoff, Ani- 
misme, p. 297). 

When mediums or experimenters are dealing 
with insane spirits, Hodgson notes that the com- 
munications also are incoherent and insane. 

A friend of Hodgson, Mr. A., once gave him 



BIOLOGY OF THE SPIRITS 343 

incoherent communications, and Pelham insisted 
that they should not go on because A. would 
be for some time yet confused in mind, having 
suffered from headache and neurasthenia. The 
spirit of the deceased Anna Wild once inter- 
rupted the interview with her sister and Mrs. 
Piper because it was time for Mass, and she did 
not want to be absent. Her sister said that, liv- 
ing, she had never missed attending Mass on 
feast days. 

Yet it appears from the talk of certain of these 
phantasmal beings with D'Esperance that they 
are entirely ignorant of what is going on in 
the present life, and they accordingly desire and 
ask for news of this and that friend. Others 
are prophets, see into the future. This latter fact 
was known to the ancients, and Dante well 
expresses it (Inferno, x. 97-105), as I stated in 
Chapter I: 

" E' par che voi veggiate, se ben odo, 

Dinanzi quel che '1 tempo seco adduce, 
E nel presente tenete altro modo." 

" Noi veggiam, come c' ha mala luce, 
Le cose, ,, disse, " che ne son lontano ; 



Quando s' appressam, o son tutto e vano 
Nostro intelletto." 

(" It seems that you see beforehand what time brings 
with it, if I rightly hear, and have a different manner with 
the present." " Like one who has imperfect vision, we see 
the things that are remote from us," he said. ..." When 
they draw nigh, or are, our intellect is altogether void.") 



344 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

The phantasmal control Phinuit, in America, 
made this prediction to Mrs. Pittman : " You will 
go to Paris, will suddenly be affected with dis- 
ease of the stomach and head. A pale blond 
man will treat you for it." He refused to say 
whether or not her disease would end in death. 
She said there was nothing the matter with 
her stomach, and that she had no intention of 
going to Paris. But shortly after she was obliged 
to go, was taken ill with stomach and nerve ail- 
ments, was treated by Dr. Herbert, a blond, but 
died of her complaints. 

Phinuit declared to Harsen that he (Harsen) 
was a very robust man, but had a disease in the 
membranes of the nose, — which was true. In 
answer to a request he said that Harsen had had 
a pain in his right shoulder and pointed out the 
spot. On another occasion Phinuit indicated the 
point in his chest where he felt pain, and said it 
was due to violent muscular exercise, — a true 
statement. Again, he told Mr. Lodge that his 
son had something the matter with the fleshy end 
of his finger, and that a few days after the mal- 
ady, which had been in the heel, would be local- 
ized in said fleshy end of the finger. It happened 
as predicted. 

It is certain that the spirits of the dead exhibit 
the personal peculiarities they had when living, 
only in a more conspicuous way. Thus the phan- 
tasm of a very violent-tempered captain, although 



BIOLOGY OF THE SPIRITS 345 

he was communicating through a psychic of most 
gentle disposition, exhibited a strange violence, 
interrupting the sittings by an outrageous series 
of cuffings and blasphemies. 

D'Esperance relates of a certain Sveen that 
he appeared to her begging her to send news of 
him to Stron in Sweden, saying that he had 
died, but had first made a great fortune in 
Canada and was there held in high esteem. 

Faifofer told me of phantasmal beings who 
more than once obstructed his seances, offended 
because several seances previous a certain other 
spirit had been invited. If the spirits that are 
communicating with you are not taken seriously, 
they are indignant and cease to speak, or else 
reply in sharp and pithy retorts to your epigram- 
matic remarks (Hyslop). 

When little children die, their phantasms, 
when they manifest themselves, reproduce the 
gestures and words of childhood, and ask for 
their toys; but, when they have been dead for 
a long time, they act and speak like men, whereas 
their relatives can only remember them as chil- 
dren. This is another proof that the conscious- 
ness and the unconsciousness of the medium have 
nothing to do with these communications, since 
evidently they would speak of them as still chil- 
dren if they had seen them as children. 

For instance, Pelham being the intermediary 
for a child, the mother spoke to him of it as a 



346 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

child. Then Pelham said, " But he is no longer 
a child, he is a man." 

It seems that they completely lose all ideas of 
time and space, or else err about them. We can 
understand how they have no idea of space, be- 
cause distances do not exist for them, and they 
are seen to go and come in a few minutes from 
one point to another point that is distant several 
hundred miles. Their obliviousness to time is 
a stranger thing, since we see Pelham, on being 
requested to go to see what a certain person is 
doing at a given time, return, saying that he 
has seen him doing not what he was actually 
doing then, but what he did the day after and 
what he thought the day before. In contrast 
with these peculiarities it appears that the spirits 
never forget certain objects that belonged to 
them when living. These objects have an attrac- 
tion for them when there is a special recollection 
connected with them. Certain objects serve as 
landmarks for them in their confusion, refresh 
their power of association of ideas on the matter 
in hand. In the technical mediumistic termi- 
nology of Mrs. Piper these objects are called 
" influence." They recall the objects put into 
the hands of hypnotized persons, — such as hats 
and letters, — in order to put them in the way 
of remembering or predicting events past or to 
come that concern the person to whom the ob- 
jects belonged. 



BIOLOGY OF THE SPIRITS 347 

When " an influence " is presented to the 
medium, — that is, an object that once belonged 
to the deceased, — it makes the old memories and 
ideas live again in said medium, and all the more 
in proportion as the objects have been in his (or 
her) hands. Phinuit seemed to find in these 
" influences " many a source of information. 
Also the spirit "Imperator," in his function as 
guide or controller of other communicating 
spirits, made use of " influences " with Mrs. Piper 
to retain the communicator and hinder him from 
slipping away from the subject and becoming in- 
coherent. " Give me something," said he to the 
medium, " to hold him with, to clear up his ideas." 
In the midst of the confusion it formed a nu- 
cleus around which the thoughts of the disem- 
bodied being might crystallize. 

The intelligence of these discarnate personal- 
ities, even in the case of those who were in life 
of strong intellect, being now deprived of their 
own organism and being obliged to make use of 
the brain of the living, is but fragmentary and 
incoherent. When a long time had elapsed since 
their death, disembodied persons seemed to Stain- 
ton Moses to be dazed and confused in revisiting 
the familiar scenes of earth. You would say 
they were embarrassed in reinvesting themselves 
with the old habits. Many are sincere, but the 
greater part are rude and unseemly jesters, allow 
themselves to be influenced by suggestion into 



348 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

accepting for true those facts that never occurred. 
Many spirits remember nothing of their past. 
Numbers of them cannot orient themselves ex- 
cept in the circle of their intimate friends and 
acquaintances. 

When Stainton Moses passed from one seance 
circle to another, he received only vain and frag- 
mentary disclosures, imparted typtologically in 
a meagre way. But in a circle composed of a few 
very intimate friends he at once got most impor- 
tant communications. 

The discarnate personality styled " Pelham," in 
Mrs. Piper's seances (see Hyslop), says that in 
trance the ethereal body of the psychic parts from 
its comrade the physical body just as it does in 
dream, " and then," said Pelham, " we take pos- 
session of it for the purpose of communication. 
Your conversation reaches us as if by telephone 
from a distant station. Our forces fail us in the 
heavy atmosphere of the world, especially at the 
end of the seance." 

The spirit of Robert Hyslop, in the Piper 
seances, said every little while to his son, " You 
interrupt me; I ought to go now, for my power 
is failing me and I don't know what I 'm doing." 
So Pelham kept insisting thus : 1 " When clear 
communications are wanted, you mustn't stun 
them with questions. In order to reveal them- 

1 He is speaking as master of ceremonies, or psychopomp, for a 
throng of alleged invisible Dantesque shades at the seance. — Translator. 



BIOLOGY OF THE SPIRITS 349 

selves to you the spirits put themselves in an 
environment that discommodes them a good deal. 
They are like persons who have received a blow 
on the head and are in a state of semi-delirium. 
They must be calmed, encouraged, assured that 
their ideas will immediately be of great impor- 
tance. To put ourselves into communication 
with you we must penetrate into your sphere, 
and we sometimes become careless and forgetful 
as you a*e. That is the reason why we make 
mistakes and are incoherent. I am as intelligent 
as I ever was, but the difficulties of communicat- 
ing with you are great. In order to speak with 
you it is necessary for me to re-enter the body 
and there dream. Hence you must pardon 
my errors and the lacunae in my speech and 
memory." 

This spirit " control " Pelham, speaking again 
in a similar strain, says that the words of the 
wisest persons who have left the material body 
but a short time are incoherent and inexact, 
owing to the severe shock of being disincar- 
nated and their arrival in a new environment 
where everything is unintelligible. Their in- 
ability at first to make use of the organism of 
the medium is great; but little by little they be- 
come clear in their expressions. Thus at first 
George Pelham could not be understood, but 
afterwards became extremely lucid in his 
speech. 



350 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

" Friends," said Pelham, " do not regard us 
with the eye of the critic. A spirit who commu- 
nicates with you through a medium is like one 
who is trying to climb up within the trunk of a 
hollow tree." 

It seems to the spirits that all the light comes 
to them solely from the medium. 

"When Mrs. Piper is in the trance state," 
said the discarnate Phinuit, " I take possession 
of her. A medium is for us a lighthouse, while 
you non-mediums are to us as though you did 
not exist. But every little while we see you as 
if you were in dark apartments lighted by a kind 
of little windows, which are the mediums." 

AksakofT put this question to a spirit, or sup- 
posed spirit: " You say you have a visual organ; 
how does it happen, then, that you cannot see 
certain things except through the medium ? " 
The ghost gave him a very sensible reply, which 
I give here in abstract : 

" I see those things. But our sensations are 
quantitatively and qualitatively different from 
yours. So that it is one thing to see a thing for 
myself, and quite another to see it so as to give 
you an account of it. To do this it needs that 
I see it as you would see it; hence I need the 
medium." 

If it is difficult to express one's self in words by 
means of an interpreter, so much the more diffi- 
cult must it be to get a blind man to understand 



BIOLOGY OF THE SPIRITS 351 

colors through an interpreter. The questioner 
and the spirit are like two prisoners who would 
like to communicate through a closed door, and 
one of them is deaf and the other blind. This 
illustration may perhaps account for the obscu- 
rity and incoherence of many messages. 

" If I often blunder," said Pelham, " it is be- 
cause I am making use of an organism which 
does not fit me well. ,, Hyslop noted that many 
spirits made communications that were unworthy 
of them. It is very much the same thing as it is 
with us in dreams when we firmly believe we 
have composed something of memorable worth; 
but, when we are awake and write it down, it 
excites our pity. 

Sometimes these discarnate individualities 
write with their own proper signature, though 
Pelham could never succeed in doing so. Often 
they write in a formal lithographic hand on ac- 
count of the superior potency of the right hemi- 
sphere of the brain of the medium while in trance. 
Many times the words are written with the let- 
ters in reverse order, as latipsoh for hospital. 
Hence an enormous quantity of errors and also 
involuntary blunders in the communications of 
spirits. Hence also the very natural and proper 
uncertainty or doubt which some spiritistic mes- 
sages awaken in cautious minds. 

During the communications through Mrs. 
Piper to Dr. Hyslop and Mr. Hodgson, when the 



352 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

spirit of Rector was present, mistakes were made 
in many English names. For instance, the name 
Carruthers appeared as Charles, Clarke, Clar- 
ake. The name of Robert Hyslop's second wife 
was Margaret, or familiarly " Maggie." But 
this latter never appeared. Hodgson called 
Rector's attention to it; but he, being unable to 
remember it, gave up the task to Pelham, who 
at first was vexed, but afterwards said, " Well, 
I '11 go and hunt. If she has a name, I '11 find 
it." After a quarter of an hour he returned with 
the name " Margaret," but not " Maggie." Now, 
if the communications were telepathic, or read- 
ings of the thought of the medium, these names 
ought to be found at once and accurately spelled ; 
for it is evident that a son ought to know the 
name of his stepmother and uncle. And the fact 
of failures like these proves that the spectators 
cannot influence spiritistic communications in 
the slightest degree. Take for an example the 
following: At a seance with Mrs. Howard the 
message came, " There is a person named Far- 
nam who wants to speak with you. He wants 
to ask about your aunt Ellen, whose servant he 
was for many years." Aunt Ellen was there- 
upon visited, and it was found that she had really 
had as gardener forty years previous a man 
named Farnwood; but Mrs. Howard had never 
heard his name mentioned. 

Dr. Hyslop made a statistical calculation re- 



BIOLOGY OF THE SPIRITS 353 

garding the more important communications 
made in 15 sittings with Mrs. Piper. They were 
205 in number; and of these 152 were found to 
be true, 16 false, and 37 indecisive. Then, in 
regard to 927 matters of detail alluded to in these 
communications, 717 were true, 43 false, and 
167 undecided. 

It will be said that the communications came 
telepathically. But, since many of the things 
revealed were unknown to those present, how 
are we to understand a telepathy that reaches 
sources of information in individuals remote and 
unknown, while even in wireless telegraphy dis- 
tance is of great importance? If all the disclo- 
sures were telepathic, how is it that so many 
were confused and false? And how was it that 
the communicators kept losing the idea of time, 
whereas among the living this ever endures as 
a matter of supreme importance? Then, among 
the hundreds of speeches, each one was marked 
by an individual style. Imperator was always 
biblical, and haughty to the point of presumptu- 
ous vanity and fickleness. Pelham was impa- 
tient, genial, of noble ambition as to his personal 
reputation. Robert Hyslop always spoke (as in 
life) of not worrying. 

But, if the communications with the beyond 
have been up to this time fragmentary and un- 
certain, it is because the means of communica- 
tion have been crude and unsuitable. Still the 

23 



354 AFTER DEATH — WHAT? 

methods have been continually perfecting. It is 
now over half a century since the Fox sisters in 
America began to ask that responses should be 
given, yes or no, by a certain number of raps, 
and it is a long time since another American asked 
that the raps should indicate the letters of the 
alphabet. The first care of the spirits when they 
discovered this method of communicating was to 
say, " You ought to announce this truth to the 
world." But the announcement was not well 
received. The Fox family incurred grave dan- 
gers. Then, by counsel of spirits, a small table 
was adopted, which was more convenient than 
a wall. Next a pencil was fitted to the table; 
then the pencil was attached to the planchette, 
and finally taken in the hand. After this the 
spirits wrote independently of the hand of the 
medium. Then they materialized themselves. So 
there has been great progress. And to-day the 
latest step in advance is the attempt to use me- 
chanically exact graphic methods, — such as 
Marey's drum, for example, in measuring and 
studying the psychology and biology of the in- 
habitants of this vast unseen realm. 

We should expect the influence of the medium, 
when compared with that of the spirit of the 
dead, to be preponderant, because the one pos- 
sesses a complete organism, and the other not. 
The spirit, too, can do nothing without the aid 
of the medium. 



BIOLOGY OF THE SPIRITS 355 

The special conditions of the trance (in which, 
as in certain hysterical attacks which we have 
studied in the first part of this volume, by the 
paralysis of certain centres certain others are 
intensified) give to the medium at a stated mo- 
ment extraordinary faculties, which she certainly 
did not have before the trance and which ordi- 
nary persons do not have. Above all, the action 
of the unconscious is intensified. Those centres 
which seem dormant in the ordinary life come 
into activity and predominate. Matters forgotten 
years ago are recalled (cryptomnesia). The 
thought of persons present is divined and assimi- 
lated. This explains how mediums in trance 
know every person who is present at a seance, 
even if they see him then for the first time ; how 
they read in his thought the story of his life; 
how they speak his language, difficult though it 
be (xenoglossy). But the psychic cannot ap- 
prehend, and so manifest, what is not in the 
thought of the members of the seance, nor what 
is not in the present. When that does take place, 
when without literary materials the medium 
writes a romance, makes a statue without the 
slightest assistance whatever from a sculptor; 
when he communicates matters unknown to any- 
body; when he writes with the peculiar hand- 
writing and in the style of the deceased (a style 
wholly unknown to all present) ; when he pencils 
sentences with a closed double slate without the 



356 AFTER DEATH— WHAT? 

action of the arm, — these things happen be- 
cause with the power of the medium there is asso- 
ciated another power that has, even though tran- 
siently, those gifts that are denied to the living; 
namely, the ability to read the future, to extempo- 
rize artistic powers, and the like. 



INDEX 



INDEX 



Abruzzi, Duke of, 160, 161 
Absent-mindedness, 322-324 
Agnes of Orlamiinde, 286, note 
Aksakoff, 162, 179 
Animals that see phantasms, 203 
Antiquary, The, 291, note 
Apparitions, of hands on luminous 

background, 48, 49; of forms, 

100, 101; 238-258 
Apports, 51-53, 59, 306 
Arcana of Nature, 174 
Arullani, M., 80 
Automatism, 181, 182 
Auto-suggestion, 10 



Bach, Sebastian, 243 

Balance, large weighing-machine, 

46-48 
Baldassarini (musician), 243 
Barzini, 159, 169 
Bas-reliefs. See Imprints 
Beaconsfield, Lord, 318 
Beathie, John, 260, 261 
Bee, John, 219 
Beethoven, 320 
Bening (his double), 251 
Benny Boa (phantasm), 197 
Berbenno di Valtellina, 302 
Berlioz, 319 

Berry-Pomeroy, castle of, 287 
Biology of the spirits, 329-356 
Black, photographer, of Boston, 

259 
Bonchurch, spirits' pranks at, 

283 
Bottazzi, 65, 76, 83, 86 ff., 168 



Bozzano, 159, 162, 337 
Brewster, Sir David, 287 
Brigands, 31-33 
Brofferio, 174 
Bruce, Captain R., 253 
Bucke, Dr. R. M., 319, note 
Butler, Mrs., 279, 280, 300 

Cards, playing, experiments with, 

20, 21 
Carducci, the poet, 231 
Carita, 63 
Carlyle, 323 
Cartwright, Mrs., 244 
Carven (medium), 233 
Cellini, Benvenuto, 219 
Chanaz, Countess of, 284, note 
Chiaja, 40; bas-reliefs from, 70, 71 
Children, ghosts of, 196, 345 
Childrens, the (revenants), 293, 

294 
Clairvoyance, 4, 8-1 1, 22, 23, 24, 

27-3°, 36, 177, 178, 206, 207 
Coffee, spurious, 313 
Communications, spirit, 314-318 
Cook, Florence, 194, 309 
Cord, knots in, 64 
Cosmic Consciousness, 319, note 
Cryptomnesia, 326 

Dalloz, jurist, 270 

Dante (quoted), 185, 192, 193, 343; 

lost canto, 33-36 
Dark lady of Norfolkshire, 286 
Darville, 248 
Daudet, 321 



360 INDEX 



Davin, 329 

Dee, Dr., 227 

Delphi and priestess, 154, 155 

Denton, photographer, 267, 268 

Dervishes, 149 

De Sanctis, Professor, 22 

D'Esperance, Mme., 113, 188, 345; 
in trance, 115, 116; and the tele- 
phone, 173; in the net, 309 

De Vesme, 296 

Dexter, Dr., 166 

Dialect Society, English, 311 

Divining-rod, 220 

Djedjeb (convulsion), 131, 145- 

147 

Domingues, Carmen, 195 

" Don't worry," 225 

Dostoievsky, 318 

Doubles, 246-258; in sleep, 249; 
in trance, 251; in the normal 
state, 252, 255; among neu- 
rotics, 254 

Dowe, publisher, 262 

Dupre, Giovanni, 322 



Edmonds, Miss Laura, 235 

Edwin Drood, 173 

Eleanora (phantasm), 195 

Electroscope, 114 

Englen, Baroness Laura, 270 

Ermacora, 157 

Eusapia. See Paladino 



Faifofer, Professor, 121, 231 

Fairland, Miss, 72, 118, 332 

Fingers, imprint of, 83, 189 

Flournoy, 114 (note), 325 

Fluidic limbs, 66. See Materiali- 
zations 

Foa, Dr., 76, 80, 189 

Fox family, 167, 218 

Fox, Katie, 195 

Francois Frank manometer, 85 

Fumero's haunted house, 273 ff., 
303 



Galateri, Count, 294, 295 
Genius and the unconscious, 318- 

322 
Gladstone, Mrs. Robert, 284 
Glenlee, 284 
Goethe, double of, 255 
Gray lady of Windsor, 286 
Greek, communication in, 180 
Grossi, s^3 
Guthrie, Dr., 18 

Hardy (medium), 267 
Hare, Augustus, 279, 283, 286 
Hartmann, photographer, 263 
Haunted Houses, 269-304 
Henry, Alexander, prisoner of the 

Iroquois, 213 
Herdmann, Professor, 18 
Herlitzka, Dr., 76, 189 
Hissa, Mohammed Ben, 145, 146 
Holde, 321 

Home, 177, 178; levitation of, 168 
Hypnotic phenomena, 1-38 ; divin- 
ing of objects, 18, 19 
Hyslop, Dr. James H., 225 
Hyslop, Robert, 225, 348, 352 
Hysteria, 2, 26, 30, 37, 117 

Imoda, Dr., 75, 113, 159, 160 
Imprints in plastic substances, 56; 
Chiaja's, 70, 71; of fingers, 82, 
83, 189; 258-269. See Sculpture 
Isle of Wight, 283 

Kaffirs, 135-141; old Kaffir sor- 
ceress, 139, 140 

"Katie King" (Annie Owen Mor- 
gan), a phantasm, daughter of 
John King, 194 

King, John, 112 

Knots, experiment with, by Zoll- 
ner, 126, 127 

Levitation, of table: (a) lateral, 
41-43; (b) complete, 43-46; 
of person of medium (Eusapia), 
49> 50, 94; of Zuccarini and 



INDEX 361 



Home, 168; explained, 169; of 
old saints, 218. See Paladino 

Light, phenomena obtained in, 
53-59. See Luminous appear- 
ances 

Lights (quasi will o' the wisps), 302 

Limbs, phantasmal (or fluidic), 
66, 100. See Materializations 

Lodge, Sir Oliver, 187 

Lombroso, materialization of 
mother of, 68, 69 

Lucatello, Professor, 117 

Lucknow, 240 

Luminous appearances, 48, 49, 62, 
91-101; bands, etc., 188 

Machner, painter medium, 122 

Macnish, Philosophy of Sleep, 241 

Mainella (spirit of), 230 

Mansfield (medium), 240 

Manzoni, 323 

Marey's cardiograph, 73, 334 

Marta, Estella (phantasm of), 195, 
196 

Marteville, Mme., and Sweden- 
borg, 237, 238 

Martian language, 325 

Materializations, 55, 58, 59, 62, 
65; 68, 69 (mother of Lom- 
broso); 70, 96-98, 100, 1 01; 
body formed at expense of 
medium's, 118; of a lady (mis- 
tress), 163, 164; 221-246; how 
the spirits materialize, 330-337; 
dynamometric force of, 334; 
weight of, 334 

Maury, 320, 327 

Maxwells, the, 284, 285 

Mediums, general characteristics 
of, 114-129; furnish material 
for phantasmal bodies, 118; 
painters, 122; action of, 126- 
129; prophetic powers, 128; in 
savage tribes, 130-156; arti- 
ficial creation of, 141-155; in- 
fluence of drinks on, 1 51-153; 
Delphic priestess, 154, 155; 



limitation of power, 156-184; 
in trance, 111-114, 157, 158; 
writing mediums, 158, 160, 174, 
*75> J 77» 180, 181, 310; say 
things against their will, 160- 
163; compelled to act against 
their will, 164, 165; energy of, 
167, 168; speaking in foreign 
tongues, 172, 173; precocious, 
176, 183, 184; transportation 
through air (children), 176, 177; 
clairvoyance, 177, 178; auto- 
matic action, 180, 181; radio- 
activity, 187-190; hate inno- 
vations and interruptions, 308; 
tricks of, 304-329; beaten or 
scorched, 325, note; speaking 
unknown tongues, 325, 326; 
change of faces, 334 

Meissonier, 323 

Mercandino, Professor, 23 

Metronome, 61 

Meurier, Mme., 315 

Mompreson, Judge, 289 

Morselli, 69, 97, 116; apparition 
of mother of, 66, 67, 196-198; 
as anti-spiritist, 197, 198 

Moses, Stainton, 162, 178-180, 
227, 348; followed by throng of 
phantasms, 335 

Mosso, Professor, 81 

Movements of objects, 51-65; 
orientation of, 64; experiments 
on, with scientific instruments, 
72-90, 93; at a distance, 92, 93; 
synchronous, 170 

Mumler, photographer, 258-263 

Musical acoustics, 175 

Music-box, 63, 64 



Naples, experiments at, in 1895, 

57-59 
"Nelly" (phantasm), 244 
Nemek habacha, 179, 180 
New Zealand vicar, 316 
Nodier, 321 



362 



INDEX 



O'Brien, sculptor, 268 

Ochorowicz, 156 

Owen, Robert Dale, 238, 253 

Pagliani, Dr., 24 

Pailhas, 254 

Painter mediums, 122 

Paladino, Eusapia, biography of, 
39, 40, 1 03-1 14; levitations of 
table, 41-46; effects produced 
when seated on a balance, 46- 
48; self-levitation, 49, 50; touch- 
ings, 50, 52; apports by, 51-53; 
movements of objects, 51-65; 
mediumistic phenomena ob- 
tained in the light, 53-59; 
transcendental writing, 57, 127, 
128; phantasmal projection of 
limbs, 58-60, 62, 97, 98, 100; 
lighting and extinguishing of 
lamps (synchrony), 60; causes 
pranks of music-box, 63, 64, 95 ; 
causes spectral appearance of 
Lombroso's mother and Mor- 
selli's mother, 66-69; diminu- 
tion in weight of, 72; move- 
ments measured by instruments, 
72-90; osseous opening in head, 
95; radio-activity, 100, 105, 114; 
biology of, 103, 114 (cf. chap, 
xiv); hypnotic and magnetic 
phenomena of, 106, 107; pre- 
monitions of, 107, 108; tele- 
pathic power, 108, 109; as John 
King, 112; after the seance, 113; 
no influence on the electroscope, 
114; illiteracy of, 171; story of 
the bracelet and the young man, 
171; antipathy to technical in- 
struments of investigation, 173; 
tricks of, 102, 305, 306; Her- 
litzka and Foa's experiments 
with, in connection with manom- 
eter, 336 

Pelham, 221-223, 348-352 

Phantasmal limbs. See Materiali- 
zations 



Phantasms, of the living and the 
dead, 236, 237 ; seen by animals, 

. 203; among savages, 204-220; 
garments of, 330; modus ope- 
randi, in materializations, 330- 
337. See Spirits, Materializations 

Phantasms of the Living, data in, 
202 

Phelps, Harry, 165 

Phelps, Mr., 342 

Phinuit, 222, 341, 344, 347 

Photographic plate, transference 
of, 82; with imprint of fingers, 
82, 83, 189 

Photographs, transcendental, 258- 
269 

Piper, Mrs., 222-227, 341-343, 
346; statistics of sittings, 353; 
in trance, 115, 128 

Pittman, Mrs., 344 

Plasmasts, 91 

Plastiques, transcendental, 258- 
269. See Imprints 

Poltergeist pranks, 164-167, 338, 

339 

Ponchielli, 324 

Politi, 116, 309 

Powel, Mme. (medium), 233 

Precocious mediums, 176, 183, 184 

Predictions, 26-39 

Premonitions, 337, 338; of hys- 
terics and epileptics, and others, 
26-39 

Prestidigitators, imitating medi- 
ums, 311 

Printer, spirit of, 339 

Proctor, Joseph, 290 

Psychical Research, Society for, 



Quargnento, 302, 303 

Radio-activity of mediums, 188- 

190 
Raffles, Mrs. Stamford, 285 
Ramhurst in Kent, 293 



INDEX 



363 



Randones, the, 188; spirit pho- 
tographs by, 263-266 

Reimer, sculptor, 268 

Relph, Miss, divination of thought, 
18, 19 

Rochas, 247 

Ruspoli, Princess, 159 



Sage, Mme. (double of), 252 

St. Petersburg, 342 

Salvioli, 10 

Savages. See Spirits; Phantasms 

Schiapparelli, 127 

Schoolmaster, premonitions of, 
234 

Scott, Walter, 323 

Scotland, castle in, 282 

Sculptures, mediumistic, 200, 201, 
267, 268. See Imprints 

Senses. See Transposition 

Sgobbo, Dr., 105 

Ship's doctor, poisoned, 229 

Slade, on trial, 312 

Smelling, to divine thoughts, 24 

Smith (medium), 114, 325 

Soldier, old, as phantasm, 230 

Solovovo, 288 

Somnambulism, 10 

Sordidi sunt hie, 172 

Sounds, 9, 63, 64, 95 

Spectral appearances, 65-70 

Spirits, as communicators of ob- 
scure forgotten facts, 177, 182; 
energizing of, 185, 186; radio- 
active substances analogous to, 
187, 188; materialization of, 
187, 191-203; not incorporeal, 
192, 193; moral character of, 
199; belief in, among savages, 
204-220; identity of, 221-246; 
biology of, 329-356; weight of, 
332; velocity of movement, 336; 
false names, 339 (cf. 352); as 
prophets (Dante), 343; are 
offended, 345; of children, 345. 
See Phantasms, Materializations 



Spiritualism, list of writers on, al- 
luded to, 218 

Stereosts, 97 

Stevenson, R. L., 321 

Stirlings, the, of Kippenross, 287 

Suggestion (transmission of 
thought), 11-26 

Swedenborg, 237 

Swift, Edmund L., 282 

Table, broken to pieces, 80, 81 
Table movements. See Levita- 

tions; Paladino 
Taps (language of), 91 
Tartini, 321, 322 
Telepathy, 11-26, 108, 109, 156, 

157,314-318; facts unexplained 

by, 177-178 
Telephone, anticipated by D'Es- 

perance, 173 
Temple of Venus, 172 
Terti, 323 

Theatre, Costanzi, fire at, 22, 23 
Thought, transmission of, 11-26 
Tower of London, 282 
Trance, 115, 128, 157, 158; me- 
diums in, 114-129. See Medium; 

Paladino 
Transposition of the senses, 2-1 1; 

cases described by Petetin (5) 

and Carmagnola, 6; Frank and 

Augonova, 7 
Tricks, 304-329; in photographs 

309; of Eusapia, 102 
Tschurtschenthaler, 24 
Tuttle, Hudson, 174 

Unconscious, the, 318-322 

Varley, 300 
Virgil, 192 
Voudous, 148 

Walker, Ben, 241 

Wallace, Alfred Russel, 218, 219 

Wedderburn, Major, 287 



3 6 4 



INDEX 



Weight of body of mediums, 72, 

73 
Wheatcroft, Mrs., 239 
White ladies, the (ghosts), 286 
Will (last testament), 229 
Willis (anatomist), 244 
Wood, medium, 333 
Wood-pile, the haunted, 288, 289 
Wraith. See Goethe 
Writing mediums, 57, 127, 128, 



158, 160, 174, 175, 177, 179, 180, 
181; how explain? 310 
Wynyard, Lieutenant, 239 

Yolanda, 115, 116, 195, 199, 200, 
335 

Zaccardini, 123 
Zollner, 127